Rob Williamson – Photo Journal
– LIFE BEHIND THE LENS
Since the day Mr. Rogers showed me how crayons were made when I was kid, I’ve been fascinated by process. The opportunity to shoot the garment factory where the new Wyatt Collection was being stitched together sounded really interesting. It got even more interesting when they invited me to deliver sample garments to Daniel Dent in Marin and old pal Cassandra Wages in Los Angeles. Photography, motorcycles, travel, and friends – It doesn’t get much better than that.
The garment factory was immediately fascinating to me. San Francisco isn’t a town that I think of when it comes to manufacturing, but here was this garment factory tucked away on a side street. I never would have guessed it was there, and I’m sure I’ve walked passed it a dozen times. The patina of time was greatly evident and looked amazing. The wood floors were worn beautifully, and a layer of fine fabric covered everything. I bet if your peeked behind any of the posters on the wall, you’d see a clear line where the wall was protected from a thin layer of dust forming from all the fabrication done day in and day out, all by hand. Skilled laborers, mostly women, worked away without even noticing me. Piles of completed clothing lay everywhere. The most striking thing were all the teal baskets. Their color cut right through the fluorescent grey fog that all factories have and contained either completed Chrome clothing, or the materials that were about to be stitched together. My favorite part was the basement of the factory. This is where the owner of the factory was using some sort of jigsaw that was cutting patterns of 4 inches worth of Chrome’s Cone Denim like butter.
When I left the factory and headed up to China Camp in Marin County, the weather was really amazing and the ride couldn’t have been better. Riding a motorcycle across the Golden Gate Bridge never gets old. I’ve been to China Camp before, but not really spent that much time there, making it an exciting meet up spot. Daniel is a volunteer at the park and helps with restorations. He knew the locals and all the history of the camp, which I found fascinating. We took some photos and I did a burnout on the Wyatt Five Pocket Jeans. Then, it was time to go. Burnouts are fun.
I was again blessed with an amazingly beautiful day to ride down to LA and the hours passed quickly. It was the golden hour when I arrived to Cass’s place. I was immediately greeted by one of her chickens. I handed off the Wyatt Work Shirt and Chore Coat to her and then she barbecued for me. Not a bad trade. I’d like to thank her family and Michael for treating me so well.
In the morning, we went to Evil Spirit Engineering where Michael was already working on his latest creation. It was pretty overwhelming, because everywhere I looked there was cool shit. Rad choppers, hard-to-find old parts, engines, and biker knick knacks everywhere. Michael is really cool guy who’s lived a couple of different lives and has great tales of Los Angeles. His skill and creativity was all over the place and each bike had endless details to check out.
After taking some portraits of him, Cass took me on an incredible ride up and over the Angeles National Forest. Again, the weather was smiling on us. We stopped at Newcomb’s Ranch for some lunch and a beer and almost got to see a fight in the parking lot between a kid in a tuner car and a older guy in full racing leathers. Then we continued the ride out to Cass’s home territory, the Joshua Tree-spotted land surrounding Lancaster. Since we had done such a great job in the twisties all day, we decided that we should treat ourselves to another beer. Cass took me to Trap. I highly suggest this place. It’s straight out of a movie. I laid my bike down in the parking lot chasing down a tumble weed (where’s that photo?!). Afterwards, we ended the day by making portraits of each other during the golden hour out in a Joshua Tree grove. I love California so much and its beauty never disappoints me. There’s nothing better than watching the sun set and the moon rise after a long day of riding motorcycles with friends.