Sunday, May 03, 2015

Message ? or the Medium ??

On 02/05/15 8:24 PM, Jason wrote:
Your site is amazing and something that has always interested me. I really wish you would put up better high resolution images that can be expanded to a much greater size. My vision is not what it used to be and I really like to look at the detail. Most of the images are just too small to really get an idea of the beauty of the creation, such as the Damascus steel.

Please understand that although I enjoy bladesmithing, I am not primarily a specialist blade maker. Any given year I might undertake 2 - 4 blade projects, usually only half as paid commissions, the others 'just cause I want to'. Don't be fooled by the large number of objects illustrated. You are looking (at this point) virtually a life time's worth of work. Obviously the most effort in communications has to go to the work that actually pays my bills.

A point to remember is that I personally think the distortions that comes from the effect of the hand hammer on a layered billet is important. Because of this, each individual object is quite distinctive. Although I appreciate the technical skills involved in creating uniform, regular, predictable patterns (Middle Eastern styles), as an artist, I chose deliberately not to do this.
My own work style is more based on the Northern European 'pattern welding' style (twisted multiple cores).

'Sword of Heroes' - 2000

Lack of high resolution (huge file) images?

A combination of reasons:

Largest being connection speeds. Only urban dwellers have access to high speed. I most certainly do not.
I have problems uploading larger images from my location (via an expensive direct satellite uplink dish).
On the download end - I also have problems viewing sites that insist on using giant files. (As this pisses me off personally, I intentionally have chosen not to restrict the viewing of my own web site in that fashion.)

Image processing. My best quality camera is an older (2008) 5 mega pixel. Any images before 2008 are on colour slides! Although I do have a full version of Photoshop (v. 7.0 - 2002) I am working primarily on a Mac G5 (1.8 speed ) using OS 10.4.6 (about 2003).

By far the biggest limit = Time. The Wareham Forge web site dates to the early to mid 1990's. It is huge. Guess who does all the coding, formatting, writing, image crunching? Attempting to keep up with the latest trends in internet use is a huge problem. Since its original inception, there is not almost constantly being new materials added, but the entire site has been re-designed at least three times. For the last several years, I have barely been able to keep up with just re-designing the site  for function and general appearance. Much less finding and re-formatting images from the original source copies.
The entire site itself is immense. It currently totals almost an entire gigabite of storage space. I really don't have an exact count of the contents, but there are about 200 + individual 'pages' - including over 2000 individual images.  Consider it 20 years worth of contributions.
At core the site is more a grand portfolio of work, more informational than sales oriented.

The internet is increasingly trend driven. The amount of raw labour required to keep up with this stuff is almost always not worth the time invested.
Although I do think I have certain skills in layout, writing, photography, and certainly do have the base knowledge of web site creation - it is * not * what I do.
I make stuff -
Documenting it and presenting it are two entirely different skill sets.

Too few people appreciate the vast amount of work that surrounds being an artisan - maker
. I typically work 10 hours a day (plus), over a 6 1/2 day week. Of that a 'good shop day' is 2 1/2 - 3 hours worth...

PS : Readers here should also consider the work invovled in preparing, writing, formatting this blog. This post makes 845 individual segments. Each typically takes roughly one hour to prepare and install....

February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

COPYRIGHT NOTICE - All posted text and images @ Darrell Markewitz.
No duplication, in whole or in part, is permitted without the author's expressed written permission.
For a detailed copyright statement : go HERE