Tuesday, 29 July 2008


There are some interesting parallels between the position of ceramics and that of surfboard making. Whilst ceramics has been dealing with mass- production since the industrial revolution , the humble surfboard has only relatively recently headed down this path.

The frightening impact of this relatively new development is that of the depletion of hand skills (craft). Whilst on one hand on a small scale this can be positive ,(sorting the wheat from the chaff) the upshot is yet another craft disappearing via the grinding wheels of profit and short term solutions.

The surfboard is a many faceted object : when made with knowledge and care it exhibits abstract qualities often associated with great design and celebrated by the ‘form follows function’ of Bauhaus origins.

Whilst I am a fan of this approach (Geoff Mc Coy’s Nugget ,pictured, springs to mind) , I get excited by people who have the skills and brio to ‘fuck with form” (thanks Joni Mitchell. ) An inspiring example of this can be found in Byron Bay in the work of the seamen at Sea Surfboards whose boards flirt with the history of surfcraft in a playful manner.

As if this weren't enough ,the abstract forms are then decorated in a traditionalist technique in Abstract Expressionist style by the ever Paul Mc Neil.Truly a meeting of minds.

No comments: