Craftsmanship – Photography Project
When I left school, I went to work for Greater Manchester Police in their central workshops. There I started training as a panel beater in the bodyshop. My family moved South & so my apprenticeship transfered to a local Rolls-Royce dealership. It was here I was apprenticed to a real ‘old school’ panel beater…up to this point I’d only ever removed old panel & fitted a new one!
Mick (yes he was Irish too!) was a ‘proper tin-basher’. On the rare occasion he couldn’t repair the original coachwork, he’d wait no more than a day for a new panel to be ordered in before he’d start making one!! He would work the metal in ways I’d never seen before. Straighten it, bend it, shape it, shrink it, tighten it…you name it, he made the metal do it. Everything was metal finished, I’d have to wash my mouth out if I even mentioned the word ‘filler’!!
It was watching the years of experience in Mick’s hands that facinated me about real Craftsmanship. A few minutes with a wooden pear shaped mallet on a leather sandbag & a flat sheet now had complexed curves. It’s not just the people that I find so interesting, but the workshops & the specialist tools. Classic Car Restoration, Carpenter, Upholster, Blacksmith…the feeling in those workshops & surrounded by the craftsmanship is the same.
So I decided to capture a little of what it’s like to be in one of these workshops. Here is a small collection of some of my favourite shots from one of these magical places, G&A Fabrications… I hope you enjoy them!
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