Friday artist, Doc Dachtler, Nevada City |

Friday artist, Doc Dachtler, Nevada City

Doc Dachtler, Friday Artist
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

What is your career and your current job title? I am a carpenter. I am a writer of poetry and prose.

Describe in a sentence or two your art. As a carpenter, I try to build as elegantly as the plan allows; as a writer, to present what truth the world reveals.

How long have you been working in this discipline? 30 years.

Why do you do it? I build to provide shelter. I write because all the inhabitants of the house (world): people, dogs, cats, mice, rats, ants, spiders and silverfish have a story that deserves telling.

What do you hope to accomplish? One good poem.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? I have a B.A. in philosophy from UC, where I studied the great questions of metaphysics and epistemology; the message in my work is really from my parents who were both janitors: CLEAN UP THE MESS!

Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time versus full-time status, art positions and where your works are seen? Art and work are full time, altogether, all at once, every day, forever and ever. Amen.

What kind of special training did you take? If not, how did you learn the art techniques or processes? The very first thing I wanted to build was my own house, but I was unsure of myself. I asked an old journeyman, Roy Paterson, about that, and he pointed to his saw horses and said, “If you can build yourself a set like that, you can build a house.”

I avoid writing workshops and seminars. I write and rewrite. Most poems get a dozen revisions.

What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? I try not to play favorites.

How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? No comment.

Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? Building and writing are both hard work and not for everyone.

Any other comments you’d like to include? Once every five years or so, a publisher will call me to print some of my words. That keeps me going. Once every couple of years, I get asked to read from my scribbles and will do so this Friday (tonight) at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley at 7:30 p.m. with Jim Lyle and nila northSun.


Tonight’s reading is actually the Nevada County Poetry Series’ annual fund-raiser. Admission is $7 general, $5 for seniors and students, and $1 for anyone under 18. The center is at 314 W. Main St. Call 432-8196 or 274-8384 for more information.

“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.

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