Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I'm such a Tool
If you are at all like me, then you have probably read (a lot of) magazines in which a celebrity or artist is interviewed and asked "What are your favorite fill-in-the-blanks?" Because I'm a girl with 30 lists going at all times, I have actually thought about my favorite tools, and fantasized about someone asking me that very question!
And, like Lisa, I'm going to go beyond the things that I would die without: the flexshaft, torch, hammers & files. I'm going to show you the quirky things that I've come to depend on--my secret weapons.
Catalogs are little slices of heaven to me, and nothing in the world compares to the Rio Grande Tools & Equipment catalog. Among the 3,467 things I stickied as desirous in the early days of metalsmithing, were these 3M radial polishing discs, and AdvantEdge rubber polishing wheels. They're sorta pricey little buggers, but I am in total and complete love with the whole spankin' line. And because I'm me, I have every single variety.
This is a relic from my scrapbooking days. A clear ruler that I use every single day. My children know that a painful death awaits them should they touch this ruler. Ever. It is amazing for marking on metal--the scribe slides along the edge beautifully.
Ultimate metalhead fashion accessory. I rock this mask every day in the studio and it leaves a deep crease across the bridge of my nose as a token of its affection--but I look DAMN fine in it. Plus, little boys can make nice Darth Vader sounds with it. (Darth Vader in pink drag). Much less violent coughing since this baby came home!
Yep. Uh huh. Sham wowza. One of those brilliant purchases (embarrassing, however) that has revolutionized my studio experience. Unfortunately you have to buy about a twelve years' supply at once, but I cut the sheets into quarters, lay one by my metallicious sink and tip out my little pretties onto it from the rinsing cup. It's true--they absorb a lot, are lint-free and disposable!
And finally--sticker paper. I have commitment issues in general, but not to intricate patterns for my saw (nor to my husband; hi Kevin!). However, my hands sweat profusely (ask anyone I've ever dated), and ink on metal smears almost instantly. These 40 year old eyes can't see scribe marks well enough on detailed designs, so I draw and print onto sticker paper. The ability to re-size images on my printer before finally printing on the label is phenomenal. Stickers hold onto clean metal through an hour or two of seriously ornate cutting, and peel off easily. Voila!
Tools are the best. They present a challenge, and when mastered, are so friendly. I can feel competent on the worst of days when I pick up my favorite ball peen hammer and remember the good things I've done with it.