For most artists…crafting work takes great concentration, precision, and patience which is most often times shown by the end product. One local artist is doing just that…but without his eyesight.
Rick Crooks barn is scattered with scraps of metal and waste. Crooks has been turning the rummage into art for years.
"Some of them I get the ideas and look for the parts other times I just start digging through it and see what’s there," said Crooks. "That’s how I decide what I can make from those particular pieces."
The creations come in all sizes from a ‘tool bug’ – made from scissors to an elephant made from a 275 gallon fuel tank. But what makes the art truly unique is that Rick is blind.
At age 16 Rick was blinded by an accidental gun shot. He still remembers what everything looks like. Through touch and sound his visions come to life.
"We found this old can and he said I’m going to make a giraffe out of it," explained Friend Chuck Rose.
Rose has been working with Rick for years. He’ll help him weld on occasion but said it’s really Rick whose perfected the craft.
"He just comes up with these things and starts bending metal," said Rose. "He can bend circles better than most people can that can see."
"It’s not like he’s blind," said Rick’s Wife Patty Crooks. "He does everything."
Patty never knew him when he could see but knows one thing is clear.
"He’s an inspiration," confirmed Patty.
Rick’s art is available for purchase. For more information visit oldmanfromthemountain.com or call (740) 982-5838