Topic: Giovanni Celeste
Giovanni was kind enough to make me a whip. It was a present from him. I was really touched and surprised, when I held it in my hands, because it's a real beauty. And it's an unusual one, believe me! I will tell you my thoughts and ideas on it, but - please - don't expect me to be neutral 100% here, because it is a personal present. But I will do my best, okay? Here we go. This ist the beauty I am talking about
Like I said - it is an unusual whip. The handle is extremely long, but it's flexible. The braiding is extrem. Not a single gap, not a singl bump or anything like that. I checked the whole whip. Okay - forget what I said about not being 100% neutral. It is the "whip inspection mode" already... The strands appear to be very thin and fine in relation to the sheer length of the handle. But that's perfectly okay, because it gives the long handle a touch of class. Of finesse and elegance.
It's 10 footer, but it appears to be much shorter because of the length of the handle. So - it is surprisingly good to control and to steer. But there's a flipside to that long handle. More on that later. It will take some serious time to break that whip in, simply because it deserves to be broken in with patience. I never understand the folks who wait a few month on a whip to be born and then want it to broken in within two hours.
There are a few very thin, small knots on the handle. Two on the brass ferrule (I have to admit - I am a huge fan of brass) and one more up to the transition area. All executed very fine and safe. Again - classy and elegant. They are in opposite to the huge handle, again. But perhaps that makes it even more interesting.
On the bottom of the heel, there's a beautiful plate with a laser engraving which says "Ring of Trust"
In that way this whip is not only a present to me, but to all of the members of the ring of trust. Not to say too much about that. I think, this picture says more than 1000 of my words could tell you.
But now to the practical part. Who will be happy with that kind of whip? This whip is a collector's dream. I think there is nobody who wouldn't lick his fingers, imagining to have this pice of art on the wall at home. Beginners? No way. Absolutely and definitely No Way! To move that whip is a very complex process. And a beginner would be completely overpowerd by that whip. Overstrained in every way.
And now to the advanced. Behold, my friends, behold. Fast tricks? Do I really have to answer that? The point here is the incredible leverage you have with that long handle. If you try too fast, the whip will slow you down. You're too slow? The whip will pull you forward. This whip has its own idea about what is the proper speed. And it won't ask you if you like it or not. The leverage can be very tough on your wrist. And I mean tough! So it's more than important to find a rhythm when you crack that whip. A slow, relaxed pace.
On the other hand again it's fery good for target work. Again - easy and slow. No way for any "speed target cracking contest". You'll be the last. Always. But it's very accurate and clean in the line it follows. As soon as you're familiar with it, when you learned to listen what the whip tells you - and respect it - it will a reliable companion.
And a loud one. A very, very loud one.
When I string it all together, it's like that: A beautiful and excellent made whip. Very precise and a perfect example of traditional craftsmanship. Not for the beginner and not for the advanced who think he's the lord of all whips. Those ones will be disappointed deeply. This whip needs a friend. Not only a handler.
For me Giovanni Celeste is the only traditional craftsman and whip maker in my corner of europe. At least the only one in Germany and Italy. Sure, there are guys who make leather whips, too. But there's a reason, why you never read a word about them written by me.
All the pictures were taken by my friend, Mario Desgronte. If you like to more of his work, go to Whips'n History !