Monday, October 26, 2009

Wooden Dogs -- Craftsmanship


Dogs are amazing.  They've played an important role in my life since I began to learn how to walk.  I've had big, sturdy dogs around me ever since.  Labs, Collies and the bullies -- Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes.  The latter are undeniably more dear to me than any other.  I'm convinced they're the best breed of dogs, period.  It's the joi-de-vie in all dogs that make them such great companions, but I'm convinced that the bullies have it in spades.



When it comes to capturing that essence in 3D nobody does it better than artist and animal advocate, Tim Racer.  Along with Donna Reynolds Tim is the heart and soul of BadRap, a San Francisco based organization that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes Pit Bulls.  When all hell broke loose with the Michael Vick scandal BadRap took the necessary steps to ensure that at least 10 dogs from the original 50 were placed in their care for evaluation, rehab and ultimate re-homing.



That selfsame, forthright passion and energy courses through Tim's jaw-dropping woodwork.  As a fellow craftsman I'm blown away by the how much life he captures in his source material.



Think about it.  Wood:  It's strong, earthy, stable -- yet maliable in the right hands.  It's no coincidence that the same can be said about a dog.  The reward is only equal to the effort given.  The potential that may lie undiscovered or unappreciated within needs a capable guide to be extracted.  In both "materials" Tim relies on his heart,  mind, eye and hand to work in sync to honor the subject and the craft.  I love it.  A craftsman and an advocate who's own joi de vivre, joi du bois and joi de chien is worthy of all our appreciation.

4 comments:

  1. These are gorgeous. Gorgeous. (had to capital G it.) Just a beautiful mix of craftsmanship, whimsy (c'mon, a carousel? kill me now), and essence of dog. Thanks for posting.

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  2. Wow Jon - you sure know how to make a person's day! Donna showed it to me and I'm floored at your writing skills and love your comparison of wood and bullys. I just finished a Basenji carving and I'm about to start another Pit Bull carving today - great timing. I can't thank you enough for the post.

    Tim

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  3. Tim, you're amazing! The dog with the tennis ball...it brings a tear to my eyes! Since first seeing your work, I've passed your website along to so many of my friends. If I had the funds, I'd fill my entire house with your work! Pray for a lottery win!!!

    Amazing, amazing work.

    Your old pal from Detroit, Lisa Goich

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  4. How perfectly well said!

    Wood: It's strong, earthy, stable -- yet, maliable in the right hands. It's no coincidence that the same can be said about a dog. The reward is only equal to the effort given. The potential that may lie undiscovered or unappreciated within needs a capable guide to be extracted.

    Love that! Thank you, beautiful work.

    ~Layla

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