Handmade, the department where we talk to folks about what it is that makes working with your hands so special. More importantly, it’s the department where I come up with a clever hand-related introduction. Did you know that some animals don’t have hands? Snakes, they don’t have hands, and look at them: bored out of their scaly wits. Monkeys kind of have hands, but they got a bum deal in the thumb department, leaving them with nothing to do but wank and pitch dung at the bars. Humans, however, are sorted for opposable thumbs, and that’s why we run the show here on planet Earth. We humans can make all kinds of cool stuff with our hands, and no one’s making cooler stuff than the cats who run Land. Meet ’em.
Names and occupation? Caleb Owen Everitt and Ryan Rhodes. Traditionally, we would be referred to as ‘commercial artists’ or ‘graphic designers’ but those terms have been tarnished with mediocrity. We’re just two dudes trying to create art and design that will last, and we try to blur the line between the two. Who is/are Land? Just the two of us. But we definitely get by with a little help from our friends. What is it that you make by hand? Metal sculptures, simple motorcycle parts, paintings, drawings, leather branding, engraving, stitching, … mostly illustration and typography. Why do you work by hand? There is imperfection and human connection with things made by hand. You can see so much more in the hand–character, quality, patience–even mistakes are beautiful. Why not work with tongs? Tongs are made for folks who are afraid to grab shit with their hands. What machines have taken over the role of your hands? Computers, grinders, etchers, sanders … You still have to be good with your hands to guide any of those. What are the tools of your trade? Paintbrushes, computers, pens, pencils, straight edges, T-squares, projectors … but the vaporizer is one of the most important. How did you learn your trade? Like anything, just jumping into it. It was probably more of a gradual thing for both of us. We’ve both been into getting dirty and the personal gratification of accomplishment. What’s the sucky part of doing things by hand? Nothin’. Can you tell something about a person by his or her hands? Never trust a person with spottlessly-clean hands. What can you do that a machine can’t? Synthesize thoughts, emotions, dreams and intuition. Are you frightened of puppets? Nah. How do you see the future of your hand-made profession in the next ten years? We have a hard time thinking that far ahead. In general, we hope to continue down the path we’re on and take as many side roads and scenic detours as we can. What will your hands be doing at 5.45pm today? Rollin’ a hooter.
Photographs by Michael A. Muller