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Are You Only As Good As Your Tools?

You may not have used handmade tools or maybe you have.  Either way, you need to see the toys in my tool box.

It has been so hard to blog last week (which I didn't) and this week.  What is going on?  I did manage to pull a post together about tools and if our work (mainly mine) is good without them.  Below are examples of some tools that hang out in the studio.  The post is a mixture of two stories.  One, on how I came to love handmade tools, and Two, if using them improved my work.

Three years ago I was taking a workshop on how to make your own tools when this handmade rivet hammer was placed in my hands.  The curves and the weight of the hammer were so nice to the touch and with every blow my wire rivets looked like they were glistening like diamonds!  hahahaha!!!

So without further ado here are some of the tools I use the most in the
Turquoise Studio.

1.  Rivet Hammer

My very first handmade tool.  

Rivet Hammer handmade by Jesse Bert

2.  Tube Cutter Jig

I make a lot of tube rivets.  I used to just place the tubing into a miter box to make the cuts, and my hand would cramp up, and I got inconsistent tube rivet sizes. 
But then...
last fall I was very excited to receive this tube cutter jig from a friend.  He acquired this from his metal smithing grad school days and it was milled by his professor.
Very Wabi-Sabi!
Tube Cutter Jig

Now I cut the same lengths consistently.  
Right on!

3.  Tube Rivet Tool

In the past I would set the tube rivets using a dapping punch and to be honest they would slip away from me and give me a crooked flare
but then I was given this as a gift from my good friend, Jesse Bert.
Handmade by Jesse Bert

Basically you use each tool from left to right to flare out your tube rivet.  
Notice the graduation of the pointyness from left to right.
No engaging of the brain necessary!  
This works way better then a dapping punch especially if you have a lot of tube riveting to do and my tube rivets look better for it.
Yep...that's my thumb.
Drawing by Ursa Eyer

Are those flares sexy or what?!!!

Drawing by Jacob Reptile Martin
Need I say more!  What a great alligator drawing.  He drew it in 5 minutes!

So are we only as good as our tools?

I for one would like to say YES but it is not that clear cut.  
I believe the answer is yes and no.  
The outcome of a piece is just different.  
Say the difference between something looking 
as opposed to looking well executed...

When I use a tool that is handmade I actually feel the energy of the artist who made it.  
It is fun to think that I am channeling their energy some how.  
My tube rivet cuts are cleaner and my wire rivets are nice and rounded at the top.  Not only because I used handmade tools but because maybe I used the appropriate tool for the task.

Do you have a tool that you adore?  
Tell me...tell me...

 If anyone would like to acquire one of these magical handmade tools you can contact Jesse Bert.



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