Saturday, February 2, 2008

As traffic to my blog continues to blow up (last week I got three hits in a SINGLE DAY, more than doubling my previous record), I've been getting the inevitable email requests for a head shot. One female corresponder (and you know who you are*) was quite graphic in her demands. My first instinct was to stave off the hordes--to keep the focus on my body of work rather than my body of flesh and lots of hair. To preserve the fourth wall, as it were, between surfblogger and surfblog audience.
But I am just a man, and every man has his breaking point (not sure about this with women, as I've witnessed natural childbirth).
The following is a candid shot of me in my shop, taking a break by resting on top of a fresh blank, as I'm wont to do when the weather turns. It's not the best shot--my mustache is usually fashioned into a more impressive 'handlebar' style, and my nose is actually a much bolder color of red--but it's one of my only non-boudoir images. And to anticipate a question: yes, I do have a T-Band stringer. It adds strength, but mostly it's for aesthetics.
On a side note, it's been pointed out to me on several occasions that my nose has a striking resemblance to the Channel Island keel fin template for Lokbox, a similarity I cannot deny. I have no idea if it this is coincidence or a breach of surf industry ethics, but Al has been spotted in Northern California in the past, and I'm a notoriously sound sleeper...
*You don't, since I just made you up. My wife's been grooving on her ceramics lately. From shape formation to glazing to actually using, the more she talks about it the more I'm convinced we are actually engaged in the same pursuit when I'm in my shop and she's at the studio. I'm reminded of this connection when strangers ask me about surfboards--many times they don't even surf, but they are curious about the shape and the process. Upon investigation, they almost always have something they are passionate about. Something that broadens and deepens their curiosity, makes them see form where others see formlessness, sense where there only appears to be material.
An eighty-two year old man, a friend of a friend over for dinner one night, asked me the most pointed, articulate questions about surfboard design I'd ever heard. He had been a professional photographer and currently spends his time making beautiful, intricate wooden jewelery boxes. He'd never seen a surfboard in person.
My third grade piano teacher told me that if you can master one instrument you have, in a sense, mastered all instruments. I think this holds true for anything we are passionate about--if we have learned to look at something closely, really closely, we can start looking at other things closely. Soon, we are looking at everything closely, and the world is a more vivid place.
Below is one of my wife's mochi desert bowls. To me, this rivals the best resin swirls out there. To a science geek, it might look like the formation of the universe. To my wife, it's just what happens when impurities in pigment meet heat.

I hope you're out there doing something you love.


surferbrat said...

Hey there. I've been dropping in on your blog for a while now. Great to see some good northern coast stoke. I surf Marin a lot, and Salmon Creek every now and then. Your wife's pottery looks beautiful and so do your boards!

Jamie Murray said...

Hey Surferbrat, I was just over at your blog today--great stuff, and I have to agree with the sentiment of your latest post regarding our recent weather conditions. That one shot of Mavs with the people in the foreground pretty much nails it.
Give a holler if you're ever headed toward Bodega Bay and want to get in the water!

clayfin said...

you look like Mr. Potato Head.

I usually don't like the glaze pooling in a bowl, but that one is pretty nice.

I'm getting ready to shape a board similar to the diamond tail below - can you e-mail me at clayfin at yahoo?

Jamie Murray said...

I knew you'd have something to say about the bowl, Clayfin!
Yes, I've been told before I look like Mr. PH, though my hair is more 'wood shavings' whereas his is more 'molded plastic.' Not so good for me during fire season...
I'll shoot you an email this evening.

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