Jim Woodring will perform with giant ink pen in Seattle, Jan. 9, 2011


21 Responses to “Jim Woodring will perform with giant ink pen in Seattle, Jan. 9, 2011”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful! Wonderful!

  2. Dave Faris says:

    What do I think? I think someone is overcompensating.

    Still — how many gallons of ink would you need to fill that reservoir?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh, awesome, I am totally gonna go see this!

  4. Anonymous says:

    In a world with bigger weapons, faster cars and everything accelerating we need big pens, big drawings, big ideas. I love this, am happy arts funding is paying for this.


  5. Judy Lee says:

    This goes to prove that art knows no size limits. It comes in many shapes and forms. Your art is amazing. I can hear third grade teachers across the country groaning in unison at the thought of their students’ penmanship with your enormous ink pen. Beautiful art! http://www.ghg1.com

  6. Anonymous says:

    Does he have to use specilly viscous ink?

  7. Godfree says:

    @ Mark: Brilliant!

  8. Blue says:

    Interesting spam, Judy Lee. How much do you get paid to write an on-topic blog comment and include a spam link at the end?

    • Anonymous says:

      I suspect it’s not just one comment either, because she has to post at least one valid no-spam comment first in order to create her account and get through the [human] moderation filter.

  9. Anonymous says:

    what do i think?

    i think it’s great that jim made the cover for that soul coughing album back then, because youtube will suggest one of its songs to me after jims question.

    great nib, jim.


  10. Jim Woodring says:

    The Giant Pen had been tested in order to make sure it would work, but until yesterday- Jan 9, 2011- it had not drawn a picture. Seattle’s Gage Academy of Art generously agreed to host the Pen’s coming out party and about 400 people showed up to absorb the spectacle.

    A specially designed oversized drawing board was set up and fitted with penciled drawings on full sheets of Crescent board and one 40″ x 60″ sheet of museum board. The pen was introduced and shown around, then dunked into the ink and applied to the paper. It did not work. It would not draw a line.

    But immediately I realized the problem: the ink, which had just been mixed up a few minutes before and made according to an untried formula, was too thick. People had been advising me that the ink needed to be thicker than regular drawing ink to work in a large pen, but in fact the thick ink did not flow into the spaces between reservoir plates and clung in a thick, dripping layer to the outside. So mark that: for giant pens, ink as thick as usual.

    After the old standby ink (Golden liquid Carbon Black acrylic paint diluted 50/50 with water) was restored the pen performed admirably. I did not. I was as ham-fisted a tryo as this old world has ever seen. My first picture was a gloppy drooling mess. But the pen worked just fine! It made thick and thin lines, tilted lines, rolling lines. Sometimes the ink came out a little too gushingly, but that was avoidable by not overfilling, as with any pen, and my minding the angle.

    Actually there were two nibs working; the handsome engraved brass one and a homlier naked steel model, narrower at the point and with a smaller foot. Big as the drawings were, the brass nib’s 3/8″ line was too big, so mostly the finer nib was used. A couple dozen or so people stepped up to draw with it and they all seemed to enjoy the experience.

    Making terrible beginner’s drawings in front of a few hundred people was a strange experience, awful and magnificent. After the first half hour of plenty of ink but almost no finesse I began to get the hang of it; how to keep it tilted at the right angle, how to read the slight drag of the reservoir tip, how to judge the reservoir level by the inkflow. The lines became better-controlled and expressive in a planned way. It was engrossing. I wish I were drawing with it right now.

    My goal is to learn to make pictures worth looking at with this instrument, at which point another public performance might be in order. In the meantime, thank you from the depths of my being to all of you who supported this project.

  11. Nash Rambler says:

    The pen is mightier than the sword, mightier than some clubs, and can in fact double as a lethal spear should the occasion arise.

  12. sockdoll says:

    The Japanese artist Hokusai (AKA “The Old Man Mad About Drawing”) is said to have used an oversized brush resembling a broom to make giant drawings at a festival in Tokyo back in 1804. Or maybe it was an actual broom. I don’t know, I wasn’t around back then.

  13. His Nibs says:

    I *think* I’ve got to commission nib #2! :-)

    Wonderful work Jim. I wish I could attend the debut!


    Norman Haase
    His Nibs

  14. benher says:

    GO JIM! I still remember the BB announcement and the unfortunate comment thread where so many alleged the implausibility of this enterprise.

    I only wish I could see it for myself.

    Bring it to Japan Mr. Woodring! You’ve got a huge fanbase here!!

    • cowtown says:

      I am far too lazy to look up the old thread, but I think many of the skeptics just thought there was no way an even halfway normal “ink” would suffice. From the announcement (“specially formulated acrylic blend”), it appears that was correct.

  15. i_prefer_yeti says:

    But can it pound a 9″ spike through a board?

    In all seriousness, nice work Jim! Can’t wait to see the work you create with it. Thanks for including the back scratcher in the photo as a size-comparison.

  16. Anonymous says:

    See also this video of the giant nib being tested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKgVjd37XNQ

  17. g0d5m15t4k3 says:

    Good follow up. I remember watching his video asking people to fund this project. I am glad he got to actually do it!

  18. PaulR says:

    Seatlle = Seattle?

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