Thinner Weekend with the Arctic Pinheads

Just realized that I haven’t put anything up here about my trip to Finland. Probably because there was a lot of action on Artic Pinheads facebook group after the meet. But anyway, here goes.

First annual Thinner Weekend 2009
Late November I had the great honor of being invited to join the Arctic Pinheads in a Pinstripers meet in Seinajoki, Finland. Arctic Pinheads is a group of Scandinavian pinstripers mostly from Finland, but also Sweden. I knew of them from books and magazines, and had met Pekka, Jussi and Risto at Bottrop earlier this summer. Being invited to meet meant that I was now internationally recognized as a pinstriper. Acknowledgment from your peers is always very nice, especially when they have some 20+ years of experience on you.

Of I went to Finland early Friday morning. The meet was being held in the shop of Finnish custom painter and pinstriper Jussi Alasalmi in the town of Seinajoki. It was my first time in Finland, and I was amazed about the amount of birch trees. But other than that not so much different than Denmark, except of course that I couldn’t not understand a word of what was going on around me. At one time we where in the supermarket, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even be able to find the bathroom. It’s crazy how far away from each other our languages is, even though our countries is relatively close.

When everybody had arrived, around 20 artists I think, the painting started and more or less went on day and night until Sunday. It was great being among such talented artists and just relaxing, having a few beers (and some vodka), discussing sign painting, pinstriping, and watching each other demonstrate tricks and methods we had picked up in our daily works.

When you practice an art form that is so specific, and practiced by relatively few It’s amazing to hang out with people who have the same passion as you. I’m so glad I went, it was very inspiring, and I’m most diffidently coming back next year.

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Hanging out at Jussi’s
My plane home wasn’t until Monday morning, so when we had packed up the shop I went with Jussi to his house and got to meet his wife and kids. I experienced nothing but the greatest hospitality from everyone. I also got to see Jussi’s old shop where he now keep his cars and a few other projects. That place had such a story to tell. Almost everything was pinstriped, not only by Jussi, but also all the other artists who had visited the place over the years.

I simply had to leave my mark on the place as well. So later on when we where hanging in the shop finishing striping some panels from the weekend I did a tiny version of my barbers-razor-slashing-a-flying-eyeball. Which is more or less developing twitching and turning it self into being kind of my trademark.

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