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Kathy Boortz - Whitaker The Cockatoo

Kathy Boortz - Whitaker, The Cockatoo
painted, found pliers with rebar feet
the bird is 6.5 inches high

I have the honor of getting to see most of Kathy Boortz' latest work — and photographing it — sometimes a quick as a few days after she completes them. I'd long wanted one of her classic, pliers birds, at least partially because I thought I could afford one, although her prices are generally affordable.

Like her other plier birds, which were a staple of her early work, Whitaker — that's the name of the tool company forged on both handles — is pretty straightforward. It's a pair of pliers with feet. The block of wood was included as a perch.

The initial slight of mind was when Kathy recognized the first pair of pliers as bird-like. The magic began when she transformed it into a bird with beak, feathers and feet with paint and simple sculpture. She got better as she went along. I doubt Whitaker is the last of its breed, but I haven't seen any more plier birds since I got him.

Story and photograph by J R Compton.
Copyright 2006 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.
No Reproduction in any medium without specific
written permission. E-mail J R.