Tuesday, June 24, 2008

tool tuesday: awl right!

Happy St-Jean-Baptiste Day (only celebrated here in Quebec)! I was reading a post on ro bruhn's blog where she mentions (and proudly shows off) a wonderful array of screwdrivers and a dremel bit kit that her husband bought her. We artists love our tools! The boyfriend of an artist friend of mine gave her a dremel tool on their first Christmas together and she was positively overcome with emotion (and that could be one of the reasons she ended up marrying him). As a wedding gift, I gave them a gift certificate to Canadian Tire [hardware store known to all Canadians!] and a roll of duct tape and they were thrilled! Another artist friend of mine practically salivates when she describes in detail the newest metalsmith tool she has acquired. I am regularly seduced by all kinds of tools I see in the hardware store or metalsmith journals or artist books, and half the time I don't even know what they are meant for. We are attached to our tools. We have relationships with our tools. We have favourite tools. Sometimes we use our tools in weird and unexpected ways. I thought it would be fun to keep Tuesdays aside to highlight tools. I could certainly wax poetic about my own favourite tools but it would be interesting to hear from others. Please email me a photo of your favourite tool and tell its history, why you love it, how you use it, what you make with it, and anything else you'd like to share. I will try to post one tool every Tuesday...in all its glory. Spread the word! Below are my collection of awls to start things off (and may I apologize for my terrible awl pun in the title...I couldn't resist).

"Awl: A pointed tool for making holes, as in wood or leather."
I hadn't realized that there were so many different types of awls. The one on the far left is a carpenter's awl. The two with the silver handles are craft awls, often used in scrapbooking, although I use them for preparing paper for sewing or wire insertion. The cheapo awl with the red handle is a tailor's awl and purchased in a fabric store. The other two are made of sturdier stock and are possibly bookbinding awls. I bought the one on the far right for that purpose.

This is my favourite awl. I found it abandoned on the side of the road so I took it back to the studio and gave it a home. It's a perfect size for my hand, has a sharp point, and is rusty. I love it for these reasons and for its mysterious history. I use it mostly for piercing paper but it's always on hand for any poking, prodding, prying, scraping, jamming and all-around puncturing needs I may have.

These are two artist trading cards that I made using washi paper, thread, and...you guessed it... an awl!


Creative Soulful Woman said...

Very cool, Kate, nice blog, great photos and I love your tools! Happy St-Jean's day to you too.
we bloggers need to stick together, so here's my blog on all things sacred and feminine, including our 'mysteries',
ms.menopause is there too

jo horswill said...

Great post Kate...I will send you a picture of a 'tool', when I decide which one to choose... I think a file perhaps or maybe my double-ended drypoint...Mmmm

kate said...

Jennifer...thanks for visiting my blog. I checked yours out and they're very interesting. Especially at this point in my life!

Jo...looking forward to getting to know your favourite tools (tools). When you are ready to send something just go to my profile and click on my email link.

Ro Bruhn said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one to get excited over their tools. Thanks for the mention too. I also have a beautiful set of hand made tools by my late father in law. He was a wood turner and made his tool handles from anything he had left over, there are some great awls and other things he made for his specific tasks.

I love your cards too.

kate said...

Ro...thanks for sharing. I invite you to submit one of your tools for "tool tuesday!"