What Rare Skill Do You Want to Learn?

It’s definitely an interesting skill , and I bet it takes a lot of patience and an eye for detail.

A question , when you say antique do you mean like 19th / 18th century ?

It actually strikes me as somehow like photography in capturing something of the person in life that can remain long after life.


Semaphore. No reason whatsoever.

Have you seen this one from a while back @tundrabunny?


I reckon that you would be good at it Eric , is pretty easy when you get the hang of it , identifying the species and how recent the pugmark was etc. But then there are levels / final details to it which I would love to master , like being able to tell what the gender or individual identity of the animal is.

1 Like

TIL what a pugmark is.


Clara Rockmore is an amazing figure! Did a little piece on her a couple of years ago.


Id love to learn carpentry, its super cool how wood joints and joinery works. Always wanted to learn the drum and guitar but had zero patients for drums and my pinky/brain coordination isn’t up to par to succeed on guitar. But throw me a trumpet and I can make it sing lol


I never would have thought about it but it doesn’t surprise me that Clara is already represented here @EricGrundhauser

I saw Pamelia Stickney in '17. It was a bit “meh” to me. I’m not crazy about the looping and sampling stuff but it’s definitely neat.


The antique silhouettes I’ve collected are from the late 19th century. I haven’t been lucky enough to run across any older than that that I can afford…they can get pretty pricey!
You’re absolutely right about the connection between photography and silhouettes. Silhouetting, in many ways, was a direct pre-cursor to photography. Early cameras used elements found in the camera obscura, which silhouettists developed heavily during the Industrial Revolution, and many silhouette artist actually changed professions and became photographers once photography ‘overshadowed’ the silhouette in popularity.


I would love to learn how to be a great story teller. I have a lot of stories but I find I get caught up in details and timelines that aren’t important to the audience. I know of some story telling workshops here in NYC but haven’t committed to it yet… I would also love to learn how to make furniture but I fine I can’t even sand down and repaint a beautiful piece I have now because I don’t have a space to do it. City life problems.


This is amazing!! Do you play in front of a live audience while the film is screened? My fiance took a silent era class in film school where the professor did the same thing! Truly a lost art.

Do you have any silent film scoring events coming up soon in LA? If so, I’d love to know! That would also be an awesome idea for an Obscura Society LA event! (Psst @EricGrundhauser I’m sure you could @ an appropriate admin to see if this could happen!)


Will alert the proper people…


This is fascinating ! , I definitely find the whole early photography and camera obscura connections very interesting , it seems that even before those inventions humans were trying to capture something of themselves in the form of an image. I wonder what that instinct to try to capture an image tells us about the human condition , maybe it is a way to defeat father time ? what do you think ?

Do the late 19th century or later silhouettes come with any indication of who the persons was of ? or have you ever discovered the identity of one of these ?


Like I said, I’ve only done a couple screenings. But yes, they were in front of an audience. And I loved it enough to want to do it more and learn more about the artform. I haven’t actively sought out more movie gigs thusfar only because I got caught up in other projects. But I would definitely dive into an AO event with bells on. Best of all worlds.


I program Atari 2600 games, want to get much better at that. :slight_smile:


Quick nerd aside, what language @CoolCrab ?

1 Like

batariBasic with bits of assembly


I wouldn’t call this rare, just very specific–I want to master suminagashi, the Japanese style of paper marbling. I love admiring marbled endpapers either on Insta (#marbledmonday) or when I encounter them in my work. I took a suminagashi class recently, and while the basics are pretty easy to learn, but I want to get better so I can create beautiful endpapers of my own (and learn how to bind books while I’m at it…). Especially important is mastering marbling rice paper, because it rips so easily!

Here’s some YouTube videos of suminagashi:


I’d like to find time to learn flintknapping. I’ve been volunteering with some archaeological digs and it might someday come in handy (though not on the dig I’m working at right now - it’s all 18th and 19th century!)
It is funny to think that in a few centuries anything I do could really screw with archaeologists.


The TCM Festival shows classic movies including some silent movies accompanied by live pianists. This is an annual event in Hollywood every April.
It’s a fantastic event lasting 3-4 days. I went the second year and met my favorite star, Debbie Reynolds.


I’ve never heard of this! But it looks incredible. Now I want to try it.