Passionate “old style” leather artwork
Tim Pinkos is a very talented leather artist with many skills. Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1954, he now lives in a Seiad Valley, a very small town of only 250 souls way up north in California.
Tim describes the place he lives in as “gods country”, surrounded by mountainuos terrain and wilderness, the sleepy little valley is formed at the confluence of Seiad Creek and the Klamath river.
In this inspiring area, Tim is working in his shop he has created outside his house, where he had taken over his dining room to, a spare bed room and an utility room.
Tim was a youngster when he sat watching his older brother doing leatherwork, a hobby that he had taken up. His brother eventually moved onto other pursuits and all the leatherworking tools were packed up in a box and got stored away. After a couple of years, when Tim was in his teen ages, he found this box with leatherworking tools and started “playing” with them, trying himself out while making a few small leather items. But even at that time he didn’t stick to it, since at this age, teenagers have a lot of other interests.
So life moved on and Tim became a auto mechanic, a job which he stuck with for some 20 years.
When he moved from Detroit to Seiad Valley where also his brother lived, Tim asked him about the leatherworking tools, and luckily his brother had held on to those for all these years.
This time when Tim borrowed them once again and started using them, he got addicted to the art of leatherworking. He started with small items, such as wallets, belts, key fobs and so on. One day he got notice of an article in the Leather crafters and Saddlers Journal, written by Robb Barr, about making an art piece of a jumping trout. Tim was stunned, since he had never before seen anything like this, and was eager to learn this technique.
Every time he saw some of the artworks of Robb Barr, he was so amazed by the beautyful work, that he knew back then in 1999/2000, he was going to master this kind of work too.
He got lucky that this magazine was sponsoring a trade show featuring classes and seminars, and the artist Robb Barr was one of the instructors! So Tim took part in one of the classes there and experienced that class as a pivot in his evolment as a leather working artist.
In the seminar Tim took, his “mentor”, Mr. Barr taught the participants how to make a bear portrait. Being an avid lover of animals and nature, that just fit right in with Tim.
Actually he wasn’t too satisfied how his leather bear portrait turned out, but he stuck with it until he had created an acceptable result.
Tim’s favourite “working material” is leather, of course! He doesn’t only make animal portraits, but also all variety of leather items one can think of and he uses dyes, finishes and acrylic paints to make each piece of his leather artwork unique. Some of his traditional leatherworking tools have even been used by leather craftsmen since the age of the Egyptian Pharaos!
Tim gets a lot of inspiration for his wonderful artwork from two great leather working artist of the past, Al Stolman and Robb Barr. But also he gets inspired by the artwork of many other leatherworkers online, like Gina Adam, Anna Master, Anton de Witt and countless other skilled craftsmen and women who show their work in the social media groups.
Tim thinks that it is important to realize, that inspiration can be found almost anywhere and from anybody. He believes in enjoying life with all these talented people in there, the wonders of nature and life in general!