Check out my profile in F’d in Park Slope featuring work from “Trades” and a small interview.
I’ve created a new website for the book titled Tradesthebook.com . The new website will showcase the book’s images and will act as a formal portfolio for publishers.
Figuring out arrangement was fun. Printing everything out on 5×7 cards and putting them up in the kitchen helped with this process. It kept me looking at them, during breakfast and dinner I could stare at them. Making small adjustments. Some big help came in the form of a friend, Joe Bennett, who spent some time one night taking a look. Time Lapse of the editing!
I’ve been working hard, testing uncharted waters into the world of design! Presented here is a 26 page magazine promotion put together. Let’s just hope that some of these actually make it to peoples desks!
The Library of Congress’s website is filled with an amazing archive of prints & images. It’s actually quite phenomenal and I sat down recently and sifted through some of there stacks. You can download high resolution .tiff files and print them out at home. There’s enough to fill up your whole house with WWII photos, old baseball cards, cartoon prints, ect.! While searching through I came across some wonderful photographs of bakers, butchers, iron workers, ect. I’ve compiled some of my favorites here:
Library of Congress Website: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/
My name is Andrew Dorsey and I have been working as a butcher for the last two years or so at Marlow and Daughters butcher shop. While I have been working in restaurant and with food since leaving high school, I have only recently dedicated my full attention to learning about the animal fabrication. I started working in high end kitchens, as in run by a Chef and preparing composed dishes, after losing interest in the Computer Science courses I was taking in college. Since the beginning, I had a fascination with Charcuterie, which is the French art of preserving meat, but did not quiet know how far it could be taken. Charcuterie centers around different preparations for preserving pork and includes things like fresh, dried and/or smoked sausages, pates, bacon, hams. Aside from the interest of being involved with food, kitchens, and pork, I have always loved playing with knives. I can remember getting a Swiss Army knife from my grandfather and learning from Boy Scouts, my dad, and my grandfather that knives were not toys. I just thought they were cool and wanted to collect more. It is an undeniable fact about my job, getting to use a precisely sharpened steel blade designed for separating flesh from bone is a thrill. Knowing how to carefully craft a beautifully trimmed roast, steak, or ham out of an animal is close to sculpting with flesh. While working at a restaurant in Manhattan I heard of a new butcher shop in Brooklyn where they were utilizing whole animals from local farms. I wanted to expand my knowledge and skill set so I approached the head butcher about trailing with them on my days off from work. These guys showed me the ropes as far as different ways of breaking down beef and pork. The pork came pretty quick considering it is a smaller animal and you don’t really have to break it down into small parts. Learning the beef took a bit more time. Then there was learning what to do with each part of each animal. Then came sausage making and how to craft pates and terrines. There is always a new skill to learn, a life’s work refining and practicing.
What is lost in our field is a connection to your food source, we are reconnecting our customers with the pastures. We are just a link in a chain, one that creates a smaller number of steps to the plate. Also our work restores humanity to trade, and the whole concept of eating meat. Anything we can do to carry the torch of knowledge to others I feel is a rewarding commitment.
Every day at the butcher shop can be different, but generally there are the same tasks. Someone will be taking care of restaurant orders, another filling the retail case. Then there is sausage making, running the smoker and customer service. Somedays we carry in and cut a lot of beef and get super bloody. Some days I will walk away smelling like a slab of bacon–picture a gaggle of dogs chasing the mailman. No matter what we end each day with a pleasant feeling of exhaustion, knowing that we all helped support our farmers and nourish our community.
~ Andrew Dorsey
Irving Penn has been of great inspiration over the years leading up to, and during the Trades project. A profound exhibition for me was of Penn’s work at the Morgan Library a number of years ago and his image of De Kooning and Frederick Kiesler really stayed with me. I loved how subtly De Kooning’s cigarette ash implied the passing of time, as well as it’s reflection of Penn’s process. Around this time I had also stumbled upon his book “Small Trades”, which was well before my depiction of Tradesmen began. The funny thing was that I never thought about Penn’s book during my initial start of “Trades”, it wasn’t until after about eight months of shooting did I pick it back up, remembering the connection of subject matter. I felt a kinship to Penn’s interest with that of my own when looking through the photographs this time. The approach is obviously very different, but the affection I think is the same. Here’s a few selections from Irving Penn’s Small Trades: