Claire, a confidant and comrade in visual voyages, introduced me to Pat, a pistol-packing taxidermist up in the Poudre Canyon of Colorado. Pat had a fox in his shop the first time Claire went; I have more than a modest penchant for foxes. There were no Vulpes on this day, but Pat invited us up to share with us his work and process.
All work is at once both craft and art; skill and vision, tradition and invention, declaration and interpretation, joy and toil. Pat spoke much on the difference between his desire and motives as a professional and those of his clients as consumers. The devil is always in the detail; Pat spoke of nose hairs, musk glands in antelopes cheeks, and the shapes of irises in glass eyes. He just as well could have been discussing hierarchies of typographic systems, tensile strength in logging chain, chromatic aberration in camera lenses, or resonance in the head of a banjo. All things that the makers understand and the takers can only read about.
We all seek fair wages and satisfaction for our work from those who buy it. We often additionally apply our own measure and caliber to the same work for ourselves; a measure only we can see. Which when done to our own approval, compensates us in very different and equal ways.
Music: 'Furr' by Blitzen Trapper, recorded at a Daytrotter session.