305. May 7th…A new relationship with tools…..They’re more than metal and wood…..

“Fifty Feet of Paint Tape”

“Jewelry Bench”

My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.
William Faulkner

my days are spent between sitting at a jeweler’s bench….and painting….both of these preoccupations…require a set of tools…with jewelry….the tools are obvious…there are tools that are designed for very specific actions and results…yet for some reason because it is labeled as a “Jewelry” tool…….the price is always many times higher than normal…..I was very fortunate that I had a long apprenticeship with a Navajo silversmith…she taught me how to make many of the tools I still use today…they are made from trailer hitch balls…deer antlers….other broken tools that have been fashioned into something else…pieces of wood…just about anything….and they all work for exactly what they were designed to do….painting tools for me are simple…anything I can get my hands on other than brushes….but regardless of the task having the right tool makes the job much easier……

tools are very important….I know I have a favorite hammer….I’ve had for 30 years….and no one ever uses that hammer but me…I cut the handle to fit my hand…I take very good care of it and….everything about it is a wonderful relationship…I’ve had this hammer longer than most people I know…..many of my friends have paint brushes…or pallete  knives or tools they have fashioned for a very specific purpose…and hold them very close…I’ve heard “My favorite brush”….thousands of times…and when you think about it…tools have taken the same journey the artist has….many of the tools have painted many of the pantings….have experience much of what happens in the studio….no one ever hears or knows about…there is a wonderful relationship between tool and user…something…very unique and individual….laying a tool to rest is much like loosing a pet…the feel of that tool will be gone….and perhaps something close will have replaced it….but it will never be “That” tool…..I often talk to the tools I use…..explain what we’re going to be doing and why…ask questions like….”What do you think?”……”Should we try something different?”…there is something about carrying on a great conversation with a piece of steel and a saw…..or an intimate conversation with a putty knife…..yow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…..

so maybe sometime soon…you can pack up all your favorite tools in the tool belt….all of you head out to some great Chinese buffett…perhaps later a matinee…and just enjoy your time together…..

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