By Lizzy Guy
This article is published on Total Tattoo, October issue 2018.
I need to be frank here. When I got on the plane to Berlin Airport that morning, I wasn’t expecting much else, other than a factory. In fact, I was still envisioning rows of robot arms and conveyor belts as I walked up the drive of my destination. There’s an assumption that a lot of big brands are overly mass-produced and I couldn’t help but have this in the back of my mind. I’m so pleased to say that for once in my life (ha), I was wrong.
Our factory tour started with Cheyenne HAWK PENs. Whilst there was some impressive looking machinery; some costing upwards of a quarter of a million Euros, my pre-conceived idea of rows of machines rattling off conveyor belts couldn’t be further from the truth. Whilst the components are machine-made (and entirely in the factory), the machines are hand-finished, which I discovered as I walked from the manufacturing area to the finishing area.
It was here that I was able to see employees, sat at their desks, hand-assembling every product. The attention to detail was really rather meticulous; nothing was rushed or overlooked. This, I realised, was really what artists meant when they said ‘you get what you pay for’. And, after each machine is finished in the assembly, it goes on to be tested – the machine is run for one hour, with the voltage, sound and temperature checked after every test.