I’m still working on the 8 foot bullwhip, and for me the maker it’s been a pain in the ass…however the bullwhip looks pretty good. While making this bullwhip I must have broken 5 strands. The silver lining to breaking that many is that I’m getting pretty good at adding strands in at the breaks.
My last two whips (this one and the 4 foot before it) have been rough. One thing I know from being a performer (and I hope it applies to whipmaking) is when things get bad there’s going to be a “break through” just around the corner. When you are learning to do anything there are peaks and valleys and you have to go through the valleys to get to the peaks. And that most people give up right before the peak, you just have to work all the way through the valley. I’ve notice that applies to whipcracking as well. Everynow and then I’ll struggle doing things that I know I can do, then a day or so later I’m back to normal, plus I’ve figured out what I’ve been working on.
I learned about the “peaks and valley” while I was in high school in Minnesota. I was riding the bus home from somewhere and had to transfer in downtown Minneapolis. I had some time to kill and found a bookstore called the READundant Bookstore. The crazy thing about this store is that it only had one book, but shelves full of it. The book was called Innovation on Demand by Allen Fahden. I met Allen and we talked a bit. I got the book and read it. I don’t know how much I really got out of it at the time, and I’ve only read it once (I really should crack it open again). However I think about the book’s “peaks and valleys” idea often and have applied it to my life ever since. There’s more in the book about different type of people, but since I typically work alone I don’t remember too much about that part. Alright I’m going to re-read Allen’s book right after I finish reading Born Standing Up by Steve Martin. Steve Martin’s book is a must for anyone that wants to be a performer.
Back to bullwhips, I’m still finishing up the 8 foot whip and have started cutting out another 8 foot whip in the Indy IV style. I don’t have much cut out yet, but it’s been started.