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The woodsman

Posted April 17, 2013 in Community Featured, Grimes

What might a person find inside the garage of a woodworker? If you guessed wood you’d be correct, but you would be missing something important. Potential.

To Bob Cooper this pile of wood is has serious potential.

To Bob Cooper this pile of wood is has serious potential.

That’s what can be found in Bob Cooper’s garage, the potential for more. More artwork, more ideas, more fun and, of course, more wood.

“Well, I don’t get rich, but it’s fun,” smiles Cooper as he sips his morning coffee.

As usual Cooper has stacks of 2x4s, wood scraps, dark woods, light woods, imaginary woods, all woods just lining the walls and piled high as the ceiling. If you can name the wood, he’s probably got a piece of it somewhere in his garage.

“I collect woods from all around the world like Africa and South America, but now there are more embargos so [some woods] are going bye-bye, so I started dying wood to look like the kind I can’t get anymore,” says Cooper, describing “imaginary woods.” “Now I’ve started to try new things like metallic grain… and I don’t know how I do it, I just started doing it.”

Though Cooper is indeed a master craftsman, there is no denying the superior artistry that can be seen in much of his work. It’s not just locally either. Cooper has had his work featured around the world. He has created work for the king of Thailand (a canary wood container for a World Food Prize medal) as well as a small sculpture for George W. Bush in 1999 that could hold a pocket watch.

At the moment, it seems Cooper is keeping himself as busy as can be. Between his projects for work and the artworks he does to further his own craftsmanship, Cooper is a guy who seems like he has never complained about waking up in the morning to go to work. When he’s not busy in the garage, he’s busy coming up with a new sport to play in his barn’s hayloft.

“I’m converting the hayloft and inventing a game that kind of like pickleball,” Cooper explains. “I was a tennis player, so I’m making these sort of little wooden rackets to play on the smaller court up in the barn. It’s a spin game, sort of between ping-pong and tennis.”

Fine tuning the sports rules will be the hard part. As for raw materials for the rackets, Cooper should be just fine.

Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or darren@dmcityview.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”

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