Drawing Sketchbook Pages Urban Sketchers

Industrial Antique Sketching at Automatic Response Systems

1950 Royal Typewriter, Pitt Brush Pen, 5x6"
1950 Royal Typewriter just like my grandpa's, Quick sketch, Pitt Brush Pen, 5x6"

Automatic Response Systems offers drive-in shredding service for your boxes of old bank statements and tax returns, secrets on your hard drives, naughty videos, or anything in between. Their Willy-Wonka like equipment rolls your papers up a ramp, grinds them in a massive shredder and flies them away through huge see-through tubes.

They recycle everything they shred, from the paper to the paper clips. Their old, brick, northwest-Berkeley industrial-zone warehouse is also home to an amazing collection of antique office and industrial equipment. The owners graciously allowed us to come sketch there on a stormy Tuesday night.

Steam-Powered Victorian Drill Press, 16"x5, ink & watercolor
Steam-Powered Victorian Drill Press circa 1900, 16"x5, sepia ink, gray brush pen & watercolor

This enormous drill press is about 8 feet tall and much more substantial than my sketch makes it look.  I started drawing it from the top which was further away from me (so appeared smaller) than the base, but not as much as I drew it (oops). It was incredibly complicated and a fun challenge to draw. Be sure to see my friends’ much better drawings of this amazing equipment posted here and here on our Urban Sketchers blog.

1840s French Depose (pot metal) Sculpture, ink 8x5"
1840s French Deposé (pot metal) Sculpture, sepia ink, grey brush pen, black brush pen, 8x5"

When we first arrived I warmed up by sketching this life-size bust of a beautiful woman who, unlike in my sketch, did not look at all worried about how I was drawing her.

We hope to go sketching there again as there was so much more to draw. And if you need anything shredded in the S. F. Bay area, this is the place to go (or call—they pick up too)!