I was thrilled when Kathy Van Kleeck from Washington State sent in her submission for "tool tuesday" because not only is her tool's story a fascinating one, but I had the opportunity to see her beautiful work in PMC (precious metal clay) and to discover her great blog, waking up. She is now on my sidebar. Visit her blog and check out her post of July 29, 2008 for a peek at more of her tools and her wonderful workspace. Here's what she had to say about her treasured tool!
This is by far my favorite tool. I'm a PMC artist and have been for over 10 years. This tool - I'm not even sure what to call it, maybe a scribe? - was included in the original PMC tool kit that was sold by Rio Grande. That would be either late 1997 or early 1998. It's a wonderfully versatile and seriously basic design and, quite obviously, was hand-made. It gets into teeny cracks and crevices and smoothes and burnishes and scribes and gouges. It has a wonderful weight and feel. For years I wondered about its origins. Rio Grande just doesn't sell tools like this. The original tool kit was a bit of a hodge-podge. PMC was a brand new medium - nobody really knew what people would need or want to use. Through the years I've taught workshops praying that no one would steal my treasured tool. It was always stated early on in the class - "see this tool? It goes missing and there's going to be trouble!" Finally, last year I decided to track down my tool's origins. For some reason I was talking to the head PMC person at Rio and after trying to describe it, asked her if she'd ever seen another tool like mine. She was fairly new to PMC and had no idea, but why not contact Tim McCreight who was the original head PMC dude and liaison between the manufacturer and the distributor. I sort of know Tim - I did my certification workshop with him back in 2000 and I've emailed him several times with technical questions. So, I emailed him with the image attached and got a quick response.
Turns out my beloved scribe was made by one of his students back in '97 as a small money making project. Tim suggested the fellow forge out about 150 of these scribes to be included in the first tool kit. It's forged from a steel welding rod with adhesive gauze wrapped around it. The original gauze disintegrated years ago and it's wrapped with the second generation which is now in need of replacement. I don't teach workshops any longer, so I know my tool is safe. The current gauze is pretty much gobbed up with PMC and stretched out and fraying - but the tool itself is unchanged, beloved and held close.
Thanks so much Kathy! Bloggers...keep those tools coming!