Taken from a conversation with James Thompson...

It’s too rare a thing these days. Oh, sure, I know that makes me sound like a grumpy old man, but how many people do you see picking up tools, whatever those tools are, and really getting into it with the material?

Arcanaut’s odd. I know that. We all know that. We’re all throwbacks. Anders is an old-school draftsman, Rob’s a watchmaker, for goodness sake, and I…well, I don’t know what I think I am. Sometimes people call me an artist. Sometimes they call me a designer. Mostly it’s something badger related… Whatever I am, I guess it’s thanks to my hands. Or my hands and my mind working as one. Or maybe I should just thank the material. It’s that that brings the best out of me, even though I get all the credit for bringing the best out of it… It’s a relationship, I suppose. And it seems to be pretty mutual.

I studied at art school back in Canada. I didn’t last too long. The Swedish style of education was more my thing, but even then I had my problems. I can’t draw to save my life. You wouldn’t believe it, but I’m genuinely useless with a pencil. And so I sketch in the material. I do everything live, by feeling. And I don’t necessarily mean by touch; I mean I really do feel the material. I spend a lot of time with it beforehand. I hold it, look at it, think about it day and night. I try and see its grain or structure, to understand why and how it is what it is. And then I begin.

When I’ve been working with the same material, like, say, D’Arc Matter, Super Conductor, or Fordite for a while, it stops being an intellectual process and gets down to the base level of man and material that I really love. I know everyone goes about their interaction with the physical world in their own way, but for me this is what its all about. Seeing something, anything, and being able to make something, anything out of it. It’s a beautiful thing. And our watches are perfect place to present some of this experimental jazz. It’s right there, on the wrist, staring up at you whenever you need to check the time. All this possibility all around us. And I get to fashion a small piece of it to accompany you on your journey.

That’s what gets me excited every day. And I hope it does the same for you.

Reading next

Black Badger Talks: D'Arc Matter Part Two
History For Your Wrist

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