The adjustable crescent wrench is one of my favorite tools to have at hand. It’s also one of the first tools folks pick up when they begin working on bicycles. In the early 2000s, I worked for 3+ years at the Free Ride! community bike shop in Pittsburgh, as both a mechanic and as the treasurer/financial wrangler. For years, a sign that I painted hung over the entrance to our shop that read “Everyone Welcome”. The intention was certainly genuine — ideologically, everyone was welcome — but in practice it was always much more complicated to put those words into consistent action in a community project run by mostly young white folks with strident, very specific ideas about how to change the world. It can be embarrassing to remember how inclusive we (or I) thought we were being back then, but ultimately what’s important is that we worked towards that goal, and we helped a lot of people come into their own power through understanding the mechanics of the bicycles that they rode every day. If that sounds far-fetched, maybe you just had to see how proud someone can look after changing their own flat tire for the first time.
I made this print for everyone working in a community bike shop, everyone sharing their skills, everyone riding their bike, and everyone who just picked up a wrench for the first time. Most importantly, it’s for everyone who understands that challenging the privilege in yourself (and your surroundings) is a long, deep process.
This is a new version of a relief print I originally carved in 2008. This version is much smaller, and incorporates three hand-cut blocks. The background blocks, printing in both blue and gray ink, are hand-carved in wood. The foreground block, with black ink, is hand-carved from linoleum flooring.