Albert is somewhat like you describe. But his main interest is in the
new bikes they are building at any given time. One reason. There is no
money in the older bikes. Only the current bikes generate income. The
old bikes are just attached to people who want to know more about them
and waste his time asking questions. I found Ernesto Colnago to be
exactly the same way, upon the one occasion I had the opportunity to
ask him if there were any early 70's bikes floating around in Italy.
As a musician myself, I have to give a different perspective on
performing music. During the process of playing music, at least for me
it requires a lot of concentration. Also the balance of the entire
presentation is not best heard from my vantage point. I have to admit,
listening to recordings of performances and rehearsals is something I
enjoy tremendously. Two reasons. I can hear the entire work from the
perspective of the audience. Second, it is by far the best way to hear
what needs to be improved or hear the things I didn't hear while
performing the music. 90% of the music I listen to are recording of
groups I've played with over the years. Actually more satisfying than
playing the music, which for me involves a certain amount of stress
and intense concentration.
Insofar as framebuilding goes; my primary joy is in building the bike
and using my brains and my hands to create it. To have others tell me
they love their bike or think my work is great is good and all that;
but it does not compare to actually doing the work. Riding my bikes is
fun too; but I have LOTS of great bikes and most of them are a joy to
ride. Builders who only ride their own bikes are very shortsighted and
stand to miss a lot that can be learned from other peoples work.
Making lots of bikes for oneself is great also. I've made over 50
bikes for myself over the last 35 years. That's how you learn. Ride
everything. Make a variety of bikes and learn as much as you can about
each one that is within your area of interest.
La Mesa, CA
Oh, and there's more to the story... this lady went for years trying
figure out ways NOT to sell her work. She gave quilts to relatives,
friends, then her doctor, dentist, and hairdresser. When her output
outstripped her supply of friends, she would just spread the most
quilt on the bed in her guest room. When I met her, they went at
dozen deep on that bed. But still her attitude remained that she was
going to pollute her one real joy in life by taking money for it. In
back of her mind I think she knew that they would get sold someday,
by her... perhaps her daughter would sell them after she died to put
granchildren thru college or something.
The return she got from her quilting brings up an interesting point,
that's worth examining because we all know that almost no one becomes
framebuilder thinking they will make a lot of money... almost everyone
other reasons, some of them perhaps bordering on compulsion. So what
primary source of satisfaction artists and craftsmen get from their
know quite a few painters who admire the work they've done and always
few of their best pieces on the wall (if they can afford to), and I
many craftsmen who enjoy using the objects they create, including
few framebuilders who really enjoy riding their own bikes.
But I know other artists who could care less about a piece once it is
For them, the only real joy is in the doing, and once a work is
becomes an object like any other and they exhibit a peculiar
or even disdain for the piece. Several folks have mentioned on the
that Eisentraut may be a bit like this, he seems to display no
all in his past work and expresses amusement and puzzlement over those
do. Perhaps these people are more like musicians than traditional
artists... because once the last note of a piece of music fades, it is
more. All that is left for the musician who only feels truly alive
is playing is to continually look to the next song.
Bob Hovey Columbus, GA
If I could do as the quilter did (alas, I'm not a receptionist), I would do so also. The pleasure and satisfaction of spending enough time on a frame to make it purposful and unique at the same time is satisfaction enough to feed the soul and give purpose to life. The only standards that I have lowered in order to continue as I do are my standard of living. There are other ways to approach the situation, but the system I abide by works for me.
La Mesa, CA
<snipped> I knew a wonderful quilter who worked as a receptionist and gave her quilts away only to those she felt would appreciate them. She would spend several hundred hours on a quilt and for her it was all about love, so she was not about to hand it over to strangers for money.
Columbus, GA USA