Friday, October 12, 2007

Artwork - The Jim McCormack way.

For the last two days I have had a privilege and honour to spend time with Jim McCormack ... who? well he was the signwriter for "The Robber Button". He is a real talented man who knows his job. He does boats in two ways either all free hand or a way called masking. Some say this cheating...I don't. It's a slightly quicker way of doing it, but it still takes an artist to do it.

Jim is someone who knows his job, he doesn't mess, he just does it at a steady pace, as long as he has plenty of mugs of tea and the odd bacon butty.

Jim designes the wording and scrolls in his studio, he emails his ideas to you. He then does all the cutting out then brings the stencil to the boat. He cleans the panel and measures and adheres the mask to the panel, he paints the open bits, lets it dry slightly, then takes the shading parts out, does that bit, removes the stencil, and does the free hand stuff. It saves two days work and saved us two days payment.

I am very happy with Jim's finsihed work, it looks a 100% profesional piece of artwork that is just amazing and stands out, and is far better than some on the canal network we have seen.

Below are a series of photo's of Jim transforming "The Robber Button"

Fixing the Mask

The Mask

Mixing the paint

Filling in the mask

Filling in the shade and blending the shades (a real peice of art)

Doing the shading o
n the nose free hand

Doing the Free Hand on the panels

A Finished Panel

The Other main Panel Finshed

The Double Panel full view

A long View of "THE ROBBER BUTTON"

I am so pleased with Jim's work it has made the boat "Ours" he is a dying breed of men who served a 7 apprenticeship and worked for and with his dad. It's a talent that isn't being passed on these days, which is a shame. Jim has ambitions to only do narrow boats working from a narrow boat, at the moment he still does lorries trailers and trucks and the odd food caravan.

As I said earlier it was a real privalidge to spend some time with Jim, learning about his job and things, I hope to bump into him again soon, knowing the talent it wont be long before he is working at Great Haywood doing more boats.