Back at the beginning of this year we sat down at Pulse and made of list of all the ideas we wanted to develop and experiment with. As we tested some of these ideas in-house we began to think that we should collect up the things that have worked out and do some special edition machines. The idea behind these specials is to learn some new things as we develop new processes and ideas for our machines. We can then intergrate these things into our line of machines.
At the top of my legal pad was the idea that I wanted to work with a firearms engraver. Someone who was outside of the tattoo world but a similar type of artisan / craftsman. We were able to hook up with Master firearms engraver Michael Gouse. Michael specializes in original designs for antique firearms and his work is amazing. We talked to Michael about the idea of doing a few frames for us to see what could be achieved. He was very open to the idea and we sent him out 5 uncut Solutions and 5 uncut Executives.
Keeping the frames as solid siloutted sideplates was another idea we wanted to pursue. Does the extra weight help, do they run as well as their machined out counterparts? We also wanted to explore some blueing finishes to see how they will wear over time.
Each frame is slightly diffent, but the patterns are all very similar which is amazing due to the fact each frame was done by hand with no guide or stencil. As you can see Michael Gouse really did an amazing job, his style has such a rich heritage it gives a very vintage, timeless feel to the frames. He also hand numbered and signed each piece.
Another thing we have been fasinated with since our collaboration with SOBA for our 10 year anniversary machines is the idea of hand rolling real metal coil covers. SOBA has perfected this method and rolled some raw copper foil covers for us based on our design. He reccomended we leave them raw so that over time they will oxidize and have a really cool patina. We learned a lot about the process from him and hope to apply more materials to our coil choices in the future.
We also capped the coils in a custom copper painted laser engraved fiber washer. Something else on our list of ideas to pursue. I think they came out really cool, they are a very small detail but when you catch them peeking out under the a-bar it really is a great detail.
Also awesome production guru Josh turned down some copper binders by hand to create some unique binders, special just for the project. Another great detail for sure.
All in all this project was mainly about aethetics and materials. That was why we built on platforms we know have a great performance record. Our future projects will focus on greater dynamics and more performance based things. We decided the best thing would be to sell all ten machines we made so it would push us to keep developing new ideas versus keeping them on the shelf and feeling good about what we made. So enjoy and onto the next special editions project. I am thinking longer rear springs and a laser cut frame, maybe a build your own kit....