The father and king of whipmakng tutorial: MR. BERNIE WOJCICKI

On the occasion of the anniversary of the disappearance of the great Tasmanian Whipmaker BERNIE WOJCICKI, which took place on 23 March 2016, I have the pleasure of celebrating him not only his immense mastery in the art of whipmaking but above all his great generosity and humanity.
Thanks Bernie.

Every time I think about my first steps in the whipmaking world, just one name comes to my heart: Bernie Wojcicki.
Bernie Wojcicki means to me not just a living legend thanks to his great work – he produced more than 3,000 outstanding whips – but also a friend, a mentor, a spiritual father, an open book to be consulted whenever I needed.

In my life I hardly have found these prodigious qualities in the same person.
All the whipmakers I have been liaising with in the last years have confirmed his great qualities:
How much he was generous, how much he was available to share his knowledge to preserve the art of the whipmaking.

Bernie has been a living legend, an authentic person, he was generous and funny.
He has influenced, influences and I’m sure he will influence many whipmakers of the current and of the future generation.
His generosity and his natural vocation to share his knowledge have made him a sort of pioneer, a forerunner of the modern Social Media and Story Telling strategies.

I still remember his website: embrand-whips.com  … how many times I consulted it, how many pages I saved, how many images I downloaded.

His website was not a simple website. It represented a sort of bible for any whipmakers. Its gallery was plenty of images of whips, there you could find a lot of details of the making, it was rich of technical info, and tutorials.

Thanks to him I understood ‘unknown’ terms like plaited belly, bolster, shotbag, binding… I saw for the first time how a whip is made internally: he showed the internal construction of a bullwhip and of its layers.

I still remember the image of a bullwhip totally opened that showed all the leather layers it was made up of.

His website was not a simple website. It represented a sort of bible for any whipmakers. Its gallery was plenty of images of whips, there you could find a lot of details of the making, it was rich of technical info, and tutorials.

Thanks to him I understood ‘unknown’ terms like plaited belly, bolster, shotbag, binding… I saw for the first time how a whip is made internally: he showed the internal construction of a bullwhip and of its layers.

I still remember the image of a bullwhip totally opened that showed all the leather layers it was made up of.
How can we forget his legendary photo tutorials ? and the green background always present? Bernie used to place and shoot the progression of the construction of a whip by placing the whip there.
Each step was flagged with handwritten label explaining each step of the progression.

It was a simple website, easy to navigate… it mirrored his personality.

Living in Italy I hadn’t the opportunity to know him personally. I used to contact him via email. Thanks to his video published on youtube or available in his DVD I’ve always been the impression to always know him.
His video tutorials paved the way! Also this time he was a pioneer by developing DVD tutorials and launching his mythical YouTube channel Bernie46.

He showed and taught how to made whips via video tutorials of bullwhips, stock whips, snake whips, signal whips etc…
His videos are clear and exhaustive.
His videos explain clearly how to cut, re-size, bevel, and plait kangaroo hide whips.

How can we forget his jeans and his blue navy shirt… his whipmaker uniform!
His videos were simple but magic and authentic!

They were clear, without frills. They involved you, you were absorbed into his lab.
In other words his videos are a ‘window’ into his world and his humanity. They leave small but important traces of his world.

The videos also gave glimpses into the type of person he was. I know what music he liked, I know that he was a dog person, hated blow flies, loved his life and his wife. He left dozens of little hints in his videos about himself and his craft and his life.
I know that he took a great deal of pride in his craft and that he never stopped trying to learn more about and to improve his whips. I wish I could have met him.

A magic that went off on March the 23rd, 2016 for a lung cancer. It showed like a simple shoulder injury.

In despite of this disease Bernie’s generosity never changed. He always wanted to spread whips culture to preserve this form of art.
With a gesture of generosity, Bernie Wojcicki decided to launch his last masterpiece. He decided not to close his YouTube channel: Bernie46.

This is an important and priceless legacy for all the whipmakers and for those who will become.

Thanks Bernie!

Giovanni Celeste

 

 

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2 comments on “The father and king of whipmakng tutorial: MR. BERNIE WOJCICKI

  1. And my husband purchased a kangaroo skin 32 PLAIT8 foot bullwhip crafted by Bernie WOJCICKI number 2048 March of 207 . Handcrafted from the great western tears of Tasmania Australia. Searching for a price

    1. Hi Sandy, certainly the whips made by Bernie are always a guarantee of good workmanship but to give the right value you have to check the state of the whip to date.
      Regards
      Gio

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