Shuksan Rod Co. and rod maker Jimmy Watts were profiled by award-winning Seattle photographer Narayan Mahon (the photos and photographer’s site linked below) along with 9 other Puget Sound craftsman for a project titled “Labor of Love“:
A Labor of Love is a photography series celebrating the rich traditions of craftsmenship in the Puget Sound area, from wood workers and metalsmiths to saddle makers and sail makers. This series honors those that have chosen a non-automated route in life, building one piece at a time, with all the precision and perfectionism that often seems lost in our ever-accelerating society.
Most products we consume are cranked out by faceless robotics and automated assembly lines impatiently producing item after item in faraway countries and here in Washington. The industrial revolution did great wonders at making goods more efficiently, which has no doubt helped accelerate the growth of the world and usher in a more democratic era of prosperity and entrepreneurialism. One victim of this great revolution was the original craftsman, men and women who made their goods by hand, one at a time, with the patience and skill of an artist. But many people still make things using antiquated methods, while of course using modern machinery as well, putting all their labor and love into one product at a time, unconcerned with economic models and market share. Relying instead on the craftsmanship and per severance that are so ingrained in our collective psyche.
A Labor of Love seeks to celebrate western Washington’s craftsmen and women, who inexorably produce their goods and wares in the same fashion preceding generations have. A Labor of Love aims to remind viewers of the nobility and enduring perfectionism of our state’s craftsmen and women.