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Rod Art and Docs thoughts

Even though the Japanese and Chinese are famed for their miniature art forms we here in the good old US of A have our shining moments too. After I completed the weave for this years offering for the Chuck Byron Memorial Tournament(an event to raise money for young artists), which many of my fellow west coast rod builder buddies have participated in, I started to think about what can be accomplished in rod art and by rod artists of today. This offering (I have done it before as a sample) gives us an idea of what can be accomplished on a relatively small diameter rod. I placed a dime on it to give it some scale. It is 8 layers, nearly 250 threads and 130 threads long with as much detail and I could put in such as eye, gill slit, false gill slit, stripes and of course the basics. The oval around it is because it used to be on a banner over Chucks booth at the Fred Hall Show. I promised him one day I would do it but unfortunately I didnít complete it before he left us. I am pretty sure he likes it. I got to feeling pretty smug about myself when my ego check mechanism lit up and made me think of all the wonderful rod artists in our craft today and all the hard work each puts into of the creations they produce. I thought about all the detail Matt Kotch puts into his paingtings. He has amazed so many people at the shows he has done live displays. I think about the inlay work Bernie Cohen(fighting a battle against the big C) and Billy Vivona do on EVA grips, it is so cool to see a grip and weave combination. Billy continues his talents with crosswraps, along with the NERBS(I would fill the page with all THEIR names especially my partner in crimes Michael Joyce), Rooster, Salty Dawg, BD Ehler and soooooooo many others heck even I used to be pretty fair at Diamond Wraps(old school term). The newbies are continuing the traditions too. Scott Throop brought us into a new form called Tiger Wrapping. Wow what a monster that has created. Jim T, Capt G and YES even Comedie are always offering new eye candy. How about Ken Bush and Mike A and their cord work. Talk about an old art form that has been rejuvenated, us old sailors just look at it and remember the old days of iron men and wooden ships. Though we donít hear much from him any more I cant forget my good friend Putter and his pioneer work on Marbling that 8 ball, Scott, Jim T and so many others have raised eyebrows with. Then we have Terry Henson and a tall old grumpy guy in Florida that PEDA have on their 10 most wanted poster for stripping feathers off poooooor little birdies to arrange on rods. Not the type art form my big shaky hands are good for but THEY pull it off so nice. I know I am forgetting so so many people(I gots CRS) especially in the South and North and probably some techniques(like snake skins and Mark Bs incredible woodies) but I just had to post this with my pictures. Granted rod art can add weight to a rod and may not be applicable to all types of rods but that sure doesnít negate the hard work that they all put into their projects nor should it diminish the awe and wonder of the beauty they create. Guess what is the most wonderous thing most all rod artist have in common TODAY? How about the way virtually all of them share their knowledge freely with anyone who asks for help. Cool huh????? OK OK I will get off the soap box and go back to my damn cave. Damn it is a Bitch getting old and finding respect for other life forms. LOL

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Ron Walter   [Aug 31, 2010 at 10:44 PM]
Doc, You are an inspiration to us all. Those of us who are more artistically challenged can find and appreciate the beauty and the artistry of the great folks you have mentioned, but we can also see the unselfish attitude and willingness to share that these great folks have. I have met almost every one of these folks face to face and to a person I admire each one. This rod building brotherhood has wonderful folks involved in so many ways that I see my involvement in the craft as a personal blessing. I wish you all the best!
Buddy Tison   [Sep 01, 2010 at 07:49 AM]
Yes Doc. You can be sure he likes it. The big shakey hands have still got the touch.

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