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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Job That We'll Remember...

You probably haven't noticed that I've been away for a while. Writing time has been scarce, because among the many things going on here, we've been in the final stages of several projects. Our projects tend to be especially time and labor intensive during their final construction, and soon we will be posting photos of some things that have been in the works for a long time.

Among these, we have just finished one of the largest models that we have ever done. I can't really say much about it, because it is in a conspicuous location and we must wait for our client to make their own official announcements. What I can say is that it is in New York City and that our customer is in the business of making some of the finest things in the world. They are dedicated to beauty and precision. While it would be wonderful to be able to say exactly where and what I am talking about, I can't - yet.

Every model that we make has the aspect of being a learning experience. This was certainly no exception. Boats and their usage can always be classified in a number of ways and this one is extreme in that sense. The subject is a work of art, but also represents scientific "state of the art" at the highest level. The subject is in the world's headlines as we speak, but that is all the clue I can allow.

When the model's home is finally open, you will see that it is in a state of the art "place" containing many, many things that will make people say "wow!" The windows there are covered over for now, but when those covers are removed, everyone will be able to see in and it is exciting to know that our model will be among those things that people will see. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people pass by these windows on a daily basis. It's certainly an honor for us and, of course, we are waiting for the time that those covers will come down.

The materials we used in this project include machinable foam, steel, brass, silver, gator-foam, various kinds of wood, as well as rip-stop fabric andother things. It was necessary to make modifications to equipment that was never designed to handle the size of parts that we needed and to come up with some "unusual" methods of working specific only to this project. It could only be built in segments here. In New York, it all came together. I can tell you about the transportation logistics another time.

As with many of our models, there was a period of time when it was truly ugly. When its shape was rough or when it or its constituent parts were unfinished and/or full of putty. Sometimes it seems that the uglier a model is in its construction phases, the more beautiful it turns out in the end. There are times when I prefer that people do not see our models during construction for this and a host of other reasons. It's a funny thing. When seeing other works of art or things of beauty, I don't ever think of them as ever having been anything but beautiful.

When we installed this model, the room that we installed it in was going through the same thing. It was comforting to remember that other things that are truly beautiful must also have their "less than pretty" phases leading up to that beauty, when they are in apparent disarray, dirty, and to anyone who doesn't understand what is involved in making something special come together, it could easily appear to just be an aimless mess. Some people might have interpreted the rooms that we were in to be such. How wrong they would be!

If you know what you are looking at, you recognize that these are necessary stages in the construction of a beautiful place. The work involved is tremendous, fast and furious. There is noise, there is dirt and there are pieces of things everywhere. One can not stay in any one spot for more than a moment or you find yourself in the way. It is really a symphony, seemingly cacaphonous, but the finale will be spectacularly beautiful and those that enter this room after that point will be given no clue as to what it took to make it what it is.

I need to say some things about the team that is building this place. They include masters from several disciplines such as carpenters, electricians and others. The pride that they take, not only in their work, but in the fact that they are among the best in their fields and especially so in the City of New York, is well earned and it was an honor to work with them. I would love to list some of their other previous accomplishments, but to do so might give too many clues as to the place of which I am speaking. (Added 4/29/12 - Now that the IWC Flagship Boutique has opened in New York, I can say that those stores include Gucci, Armani, Tiffany and others of the type.)

They are focused, they are disciplined and they are knowledgable. They also showed us a certain kind of respect that comes from a knowledge of what it takes to make unusual things. I am very bad with names, so I won't attempt to use any here for fear of getting them wrong or omitting someone that I shouldn't. But our thanks to everyone that worked there at every level.

It is a complicated project. The number of things coming together at one time is staggering. People walking by right now may not even know that there are people inside the place. When it's done, most people will have no awareness of how it became the collection of great things that they experience. How it became will be forgotten, except by anyone who had any part in it's coming to be. I know that this has been the kind of experience that I will long remember.

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