You don't have to be a plushie to get free shipping (what you do in your private life is your own business). You just have to pick a plushie dog, cat, fish, or pig from Pattie Haskins's etsy store and enter coupon code "dogart." Patti is a self-taught artist from Dallas who crochets these soft sculpture animals without using patterns. I think that gives them each an individual character, just like every animal you ever met. My favorite is the apple green and brown striped Dachshund. His Doxie expression is just perfect.
Lately, I've been reading a lot about the fibershed movement, people attempting to clothe themselves using textiles sourced within 150 miles of their homes. It would be interesting to combine the stuffed animal market with the fibershed folks and bring back the locally-sourced toy. Just try finding a sock mokey that isn't made in China. Until then, visit Patti's etsy store, website or blog for homegrown American plushies.
Patti also offers custom crocheted critters. You send her photos like this...
Until the end of November, artist Michael John dePierro is offering free shipping on any of his pet portrait sculptures. He has many breeds available or he can create a custom hand-painted wood relief portrait of your pet from a photograph. The sculptures are approximately 10" high and 3" thick. The width varies depending on the pose, and the art is designed to be hung with basic picture hook.
A custom pet portrait takes appoximately two to three weeks to complete, so order now. Visit Michael Jonn dePierro's website Parts of a Larger World to commission one of these darling, soulful works. I think his ability to capture the individuality of each dog is extraordinary. Mention you saw his work on Dog Art Today to receive free shipping. Thank you, Michael.
Art from Ashes Tennis Ball Remembrance by Bob Burch
Art from Ashes, the company that creates glass remembrances using the ashes from loved ones, has added a new sculpture to their repertoire, a tennis ball. The piece was inspired by Java, a 12 1/2 year-old Border Collie, who recently passed away. Java's owner requested a keepsake that would honor what Java loved doing the most, chasing his favorite tennis ball. Bob Burch, the Art from Ashes resident artist, incorporated Java's ashes into the core of this remarkable tennis ball sculpture, then added the seam and left it roughed up, unlike the sleek, polished style of his other pieces. The result is an authentic, "slobbery" sculpture that is a comfort to hold. I just love the wit and originality of this piece. It's a new template for honoring those sporty dogs we all know who never sat still in life and don't belong sitting static on a mantle as a memory. Beautiful job.
Try to break away from the 10-year memorials of 9/11 this weekend. I know I have trouble doing it, and then wonder why I can't stop crying. Watch some US Open tennis or toss the ball to your pup. Every year I still can't believe the attacks really happened and, in a weird way what's more shocking is how we have moved on...how the unbearable becomes bearable.
Coincidentally, Kate Taylor of The New York Times also wrote about Koons's balloon dog battles yesterday. The article has some interesting perspectives from copyright lawyers who don't think Koons has a case. The piece also mentions an interesting three-year (1989-1992) copyright case that Koons lost, Roger v. Koons, aka The String of Puppies case.
Puppies by Art Rogers, 1985
String of Puppies by Jeff Koons, 1988
The photographer, Art Rogers, won an undisclosed amount in damages from Koons. I had no idea there was a whole subset of dog-art-copyright-law.
I wrote about Kimberly Merrill before here and here. I think she is one of the best dog painters working today. Visit her website to see more of her work before she gets a cease-and-desist letter from Koons.