3/21/13

Peanuts Factory - Nicolai Sclater portrait

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  For some, the custom bike scene has been stuck in a rut, but times are changing and a new direction is being taken. For several years we have experienced an acceleration of this phenomenom, mainly as a result of the internet and social media. Nicolai Sclater is a strong character on this new scene, he brings his own unique style and is revolutionising custom painting.



Nico lives in Hackney Wick in East London, where he has set up his workshop in an old dark brick warehouse (formally The infamous peanut factory) which he shares with Steph, his partner, and where she has her hairdressing salon « Parlour Macabre ». This workshop is also where they live : as London rents are  prohibitively high they have created a suspended mezzanine to serve as  their bedroom. Everything is organised and impeccably tidy, despite Steph's clients who come one after the other all through the day. The room is dominated by signs and panels painted by Nico aka "Ornamental Conifer". That's the scene set.














As we should, we drink tea ; Mark asks the questions and I take the photos.

Recently Nico has been very successful, and today he is very sought after and a leader in this field. He explained to us that they both want to leave London next year, after 10 years. Their clients expect a certain sort of work from them and they want to avoid being typecast and to regain their creativity. Despite his youth he has realised the pitfalls of the system and has made the spontaneous decision to stop his commercial work in favour of artistic inspiration. Fuck money !





Furthermore they want to have children in a while, some 'mini-conifers' and they don't want to educate them in England . Sweden seems the ideal place to them because of the quality of their education system. Nico has roots in Scandinavia, more precisely in Norway, where his father comes from, but Norway is too expensive to live there . London is a city which attracts people, but often they don't stay.

So he and Steph, his partner and best friend, are going to travel for a year, leaving motorbikes behind them. Moreover he doesn't want to be associated with motorbike gangs : people will soon get fed up with this revival which is currently so strong.





“ You know”, he tells me, talking about creativity, “ we are all searching for  our way, no one knows their way : do you know yours? It's something that my parents taught me when I was very young, especially when I was lost or misunderstood, you have to stay awake and excited by what we see and experience. I don't want a predictable life. Finally, recently I had to go abroad for work and I realised that I usually work in my studio, surrounded by all the influences that seemed to me indispensable for visual stimulus, and then suddenly, in this big empty, white building it is very different, a new page turns, and everything was coming from inside my head : fresh and productive. I realised that I don't need a studio, I can work anywhere, I am free....

We went outside to see the motorbikes and to continue the discussion while Steph had a client. Under a tarpaulin he unveiled a SR500 version Flat tracker, without any trim, just minimal, called 'the curlew' , because it doesn't have any lights. He derides the fact that all his friends thought that he'd have a super-customised bike, and with this one he thumbs his nose at them.









From the second tarpaulin he brings out his famous 'Sushi Eater', this little bike is a Honda Rebel, which has Japanese Bosozoku styling influences. Nico explains that many Japanese customisers build single cylinder bikes from undesirable/ unfashionable bases into unimaginable machines. The exhausts have vertical silencers  and the fairing is set high. They are often described as American choppers married to an old style café racer He explains to us that all the parts had been donated to him unasked by friends, and as if by magic the motorbike made itself. Original Honda Rebels are "disgusting" machines.
His other main influence was a picture of a Harley rigid with a full fairing which was in his father's garage . Nico grew up with this picture.



We finished the interview in the local pub, with the Bandidos crew in a post-industrial atmosphere. The beer was brewed on the premises and our tongues were loosened, but that's another story.




You can read more about Nico The Ornamental Conifer on Moto Heroes Magazine issue #04
for sale on our STORE
 



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3/15/13

Wheels & Waves 2013 - Update




Following several long months of suspense, peppered with frustration, we have come to an agreement with the city of Biarritz, here in France. Monsieur Didier Borotra, mayor of the city, has agreed to our request to hold the 2013 Wheels and Waves event at a truly magic, historical, and legendary spot: The Lighthouse of Biarritz.

This city, rich in history, where surfing in Europe was born in 1956, is unique in our eyes.
It brings together our two favorite elements which are the water and the asphalt, so the Wheels and Waves will be able to express themselves in full liberty for  the period of a special weekend… a weekend of action, passion, pleasure, friendship and fraternity.

The dates are now set in stone: June 13, 14, 15, and 16th.
The activities and organization can now progressively find their marks, as the program looks to be a memorable one.
The website will be ready in April, where you will find all the necessary information about the event, where to stay, where to reserve, how to access and pre-register for meals, rides, and runs!

We want to thank, in advance, our partners without whom this event could not happen.
We also thank our four special artists for their confidence in us, as we look forward to the honor of hosting them, and officially exposing their work during the event.

Once again, we thank you all for your patience and understanding that “you can get it if you really want it”, and its corollary “good things often take time to obtain.”
We sincerely look forward to seeing you.

So prepare your bikes, your boards, and let’s get together at the Lighthouse in 2013!


 


Après de longs mois de suspense, nous sommes enfin parvenu à un accord avec la ville de Biarritz. Monsieur Didier Borotra, maire de la ville nous accorde l'implantation du village Wheels & Waves dans un lieu magique Autour du phare de Biarritz.

Cette ville chargée d'histoire ou le surf est né en 1956 en Europe est unique à nos yeux, il rassemble nos deux éléments favoris, l'eau et l'asphalte, les roues et les vagues vont pouvoir s'y exprimer en toute liberté le temps d'un week-end ...

La date est fixée au 13/14/15/16 Juin, les éléments vont maintenant se mettre progressivement en place, le programme s'annonce alléchant, nôtre site sera prêt courant Avril.
Vous y trouverez toutes les informations nécessaires comme l'hébergement, l'accès et le programme sans oublier les formulaires d'inscription repas, rides et runs.

Nous remercions d'ores et déjà tous nos partenaires sans lesquels cet événement ne pourrait avoir lieu aujourd'hui.
Nous remerçions vivement les quatre artistes pour la confiance qu'ils nous accordent et serons très honorés de les accueillir.

Encore une fois merçi pour votre patience, préparez vos motos, vos planches de surf et rejoignez nous .


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