Finding the Right Tool

There’s no middle ground when it comes to finding the right tool to do the job. Either the hammer is properly balanced or it isn’t. The gizmo that opens the jar lid delivers a swift release of pressure and that delightful sound that goes along with it, OR the sucker cuts your hand up and you’re reaching for the bright green and pink tools called: bandages. Last night I was sabotaged by an oddly shaped cheese grater. It took out two triangular shapes of skin from my right index finger–another tool that I have come to rely on, that index finger. Go without one for a day and try to use the other tools in your life, like dental floss, like a keyboard. I ended up bleeding all over my keyboard last night until I understood what was going on. I tried to make a joke with my daughter, saying something like: —Well, I’m finally bleeding for my art. But I think she was more keen on finding gauze just then.Beulah Faith, 20, used to be sales clerk in department store, reaming tools for transport on lathe machine, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas (LOC) by The Library of Congress.

Antique tools–a good solid plane or an intact level–can be an inspiration, and more than a little handy, because they come from an era when tools were made well. I was asked recently by a blogger: what things would I want if I were stranded on a desert island. Well, I don’t much want to be stranded on a desert island, but if I had to be, I thought I’d want a good knife, a magnifying glass (to light fires) and a needle. All tools. I should probably have mentioned the titles of three books but I would like to keep going so I could be rescued and head home to my bookshelf.

Some people call certain men tools and I think that’s cruel. They say: He’s a real tool. Or: He’s a dull tool. But men love their tools–many devote long Sunday afternoons to them–and to make them feel bad about that identification, well…it’s just wrong.

Today, I saw an art show unlike anything I’ve seen. The artist, Sue Aygarn Kowalski, is a wiry thing with spiky hair and big blue eyes. I wouldn’t pick her out in a crowd as the person to talk metal alloys or railroad spikes with. But that’s Sue. She has fused the world of art and tools. And I am including her website at the bottom of this funny blog, so you can see exactly what I’m talking about.

I welcome your tool stories. But go easy on the ones about severing arteries and apendages, and just how gruesome a nail gun can make your life.

Click here and here to see the absolutely workable and remarkably brilliant tools that Sue makes.

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1 Comment

  1. Jinx Nolan says:

    Yes, I agree with Lise. Sue is a wonderful innovative artist. Not only does she make beautiful jewelery but she also makes elegant yet utilitarian tools that look like sculptures, such as a hammer in beautiful wood and metal.