Mail from Larry.
I got an e-mail the other day. My girlfriend was so touched by it she started to cry. Well, I can say it warmed my heart too.
I am Larry Cooper, a blacksmith (for 31 years, full time) in North Carolina, USA. I first saw your work in a video nearly a decade ago; you were carving wooden pegs for a rake. I have followed your other videos since then and now found you on instagram ( I am @bentheretoo) as my interest in spoon carving is growing.
I just wanted to thank you for all the work you have done over the years and let you know I appreciate what you are doing. Your instructional videos are wonderful and your work is beautiful.
Thank you for your inspiration along the way.
I started thinking. It is insane how long it has been.
I use to say to my kids that I remember when the video came. It was a neighbours kid that told me they had got a video. He told me what it was and I said that it was impossible; “you can only see movies when they are on the TV”. You know, at a certain time. He insisted it was true. So he wrote VIDEO in the snow with a stick, just to make it clear. And I remember those crooked letters in the snow like it is a movie playing.
When I first started making my handcraft movies it was before Youtube. I have always been late accepting new technique, but when we started making a web-page for HV-school, when I studied the higher craft education there, I got internet-hubris. I thought that craft, with its photogenic qualities would look great on the internet. In the early days of internet the thing was very much “what can we use it for”? None of those programmers saw really much potential to be honest. And as a coincidence my father dumped his new computer in the apartment where I lived, probably because he had no use for it.
I used an ordinary/analog cam-corder to make my first movies. The clips were then recorded from a TV-screen with a web-cam. I always checked PC För Alla (Swedish PC magazine) for useful freeware and most important – which web hotel offered the best hosting. Most web hotels didn`t even have space for any video at all. Remember that this was before Youtube, so you had to have your own server space to store your clips. One big frustration was of course that the people that were my target group probably couldn´t watch the clips anyway because you had to have flash installed, and very few had. One of the reasons that I kept going was probably that Aftonbladet, one of swedens main evening papers, reviewed my site and put it on a really nice list of “cool websites” calling it poetic.
Well, I don`t know how to wrap this up. We got to live now. This is what we have. And although I´m not really sure I like internet that much, I do love photo and film. But I´m not sure I would have taken it as far if I hadn´t been so sure I had something to tell. When I started studying handcraft there was so little written not to mention film.
Well, that was how I started making film on the internet. Larry and I have continued our correspondence and we both started to grow our interest for handcraft in a very different time from now.