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Thoughts on tools


#1

If anyone is interested, here’s some thoughts on tools from a larger
project that I’m working on…

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep80u6

Andy Cooperman, Metalsmith


#2

Hi Andy,

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep80u6 

Interesting article. Not a whole lot to say about it specifically,
beyond “I agree!”.

A thought to add to the mix though: I sometimes joke with students
that metalsmithing is the ultimate craft, because unlike all the
others, we can make our own tools. Tools are (generally) made of
metal. We work metal. What is there to stop us from making tools out
of anything we please? In any way we please? I phrase it like that
to get them thinking, and to get them over the mental barrier of
regarding tools as inviolate and unchangeable. It’s made of metal.
Therefore, there’s no reason that you, as a metalsmith, can’t mess
with it if you need to.

Of course, the next hurdle is figuring out (A) when you genuinely
need to modify the tool, and (B) exactly how to modify it, to
perform what function? That’s the one that’ll keep you guessing for a
lifetime.

Regards,
Brian


#3
A thought to add to the mix though: I sometimes joke with students
that metalsmithing is the ultimate craft, because unlike all the
others, we can make our own tools. Tools are (generally) made of
metal. We work metal. What is there to stop us from making tools
out of anything we please? In any way we please? I phrase it like
that to get them thinking, and to get them over the mental barrier
of regarding tools as inviolate and unchangeable. It's made of
metal. Therefore, there's no reason that you, as a metalsmith,
can't mess with it if you need to. Of course, the next hurdle is
figuring out (A) *when* you genuinely need to modify the tool, and
(B) exactly how to modify it, to perform what function? That's the
one that'll keep you guessing for a lifetime. 

Just loved what you said!
HOWEVER!!
Its not guessing its DOING!!.

If your like me, always wanting to make something that others dont,
then you do need to think and deliver outside the normal envelope.

Been at it since 1968. and still doing it.

Only yesterday had a call to look at a stuck Bridgport mill.

Got it sorted by thinking sideways.

A Good feeling. Customer v happy.

The key is the ist problem solving youve done, then keep doing it,
you will get better with regular practice.

Till it becomes second nature.


#4
I phrase it like that to get them thinking, and to get them over
the mental barrier of regarding tools as inviolate and
unchangeable. 

This is SO important! Jayne Redman does this in her workshops, and I
have to say it was eye opening for me. I knew I COULD change my
tools, but really wasn’t sure when/how…

Learning that things like tools are just that - tools - to be used,
changed, made to work as needed - is really important. I would
actually love an entire workshop on how to adapt tools…I’m never
confident that what I’m doing in adapting mine is “right”… way
too hung up on not “making a mistake” lol!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
bethwicker.com


#5
here's some thoughts on tools from a larger project that I'm
working on.... 

Nice little piece Andy - clearly a prelude to something…

This may seem out of nowhere but it just jogged me to remember. Just
sharing. Something I was reading about some man who was smarter than
most somehow - not Edison but someone like that. I forget
exactly… Anyway, some men were on a ship trying to get a huge
wheel off of a shaft, and they pushed and pulled on that wheel for
something like an hour and just couldn’t get it. Then our hero walks
up with a sledge hammer and goes Thwack! on the shaft and it just
pops right out. The right tool in the right place at the right time,
I guess is the message - it just reminded me of it, somehow.

Kind of related to, “You’re paying me $10 to swing the hammer and
$90 to know HOW to swing it.”


#6

Of course, Andy, we would be interested in your thoughts on tools!
You write with such clarity and vision it’s always a pleasure to
read what you have to say. This subject is no exception. In the end,
a tool is just a tool, as you say, “not an icon”. Our studios, just
a place to play with tools, not a “shrine”.

Thank you for sending us to your discourse on tools, tool making and
all the world’s tool-makers,

Linda Kaye-Moses


#7
Kind of related to, "You're paying me $10 to swing the hammer and
$90 to know HOW to swing it." 

Nice little quip.

Andy Cooperman, Metalsmith


#8

"Tools don’t fix, it’s the person and their inner knowledge of how
to fix things, that counts!

Gerry Lewy