The recent visit to Ronde resulted in a couple of purchases. I'm a sucker for a nice print; the love of ink, big machines, oily rags, tradition, craft and the patience of saint all go into that 2D piece of joy. Well, it's not strictly 2D. Prints have a surface formed by the process and quite a few printers really take this to the limit. I have a book lurking at home which is history of the Roman typeface. The embossed pages of hand printed characters are not only a visual feast, but the tactile quality results in sensory bliss. An invite from vitsoe recently landed on my desk. In true vitsoe understated fashion, their logo is embossed on the top right hand corner. It just cries out for your thumb to be rubbed against it, lovely. Dynamoworks in Edinburgh do a fine range of bike related prints. I couldn't decide what print to buy, my wife was giving me the look (not that one) to get my arse in gear and make a decision. The result, a postcard....it will do for the time being.
Talking of print, Edwin works for the same employer as me and we both have access to some pretty nice kit. He tends to print things in ink, I tend to print things in ABS. Your time is no doubt precious, but you really should have a look at his work.
The other goodie in the bag brought back childhood memories of being dragged round antique and charity shops in France. I've loved those little cycling figures for years. The weird thing is, that until now, I can't ever recall buying one. I was probably saving my money for a real bike. Capturing a dynamic activity in three dimensions is a tough call. Fair enough, these figures don't have the accuracy and beauty of a finely crafted piece of jewellery or sculpture, but they do poses a quality that is full of emotion and that is a very tough call. The manufacturing process obviously lends it's own quality, and the rustic nature has been left intact. Tool wear has a say in the final aesthetic through the decision of not removing the 'flash'. In my opinion, this adds to the honesty of the objet d'art.
The number of companies that have produced these figurines over the years is vast. A great source of tracking them down is tour-de-france-miniature.com
The real Papa de le peleton is the Roger Foundry. I won't fill the blog with their history as it is worth pointing the cursor to the link and having a read.
The plastic variety don't do it for me, Christmas crackers come to mind. Now, if a Christmas cracker had one of these beauties in it I would be a happy boy.
Rouler mag even paid homage to the models, the cover of issue 11, (now sold out) was a photo from Janol Apin 'les petits velos' series. His site is worth a look, even if only for the humour of the over the bars spill and the 'being in the right place at the right time' message captured in these inanimate objects.
The cycliste purchased from Ronde may end up losing his white jersey and returning to team duties. The four time winner of the Paris-Roubaix being the inspiration. Time to look out the red and blue humbrols...