Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How It's Made: Tools of the Trade

I recently hung out at Belle Starr in Eureka for Arts Alive, an art event on the first Saturday of every month here in Eureka, and took along this awesome little collection of hand tools to do some show and tell about my process. People loved it. I gotta say, I'm a little in love with the display myself. It's been weeks and I've still not returned these tools to the studio. Granted, I have duplicates of some of them, but that file is my go to file, so... I may need to buy a new file. Anyway, since there was so much interest in person I thought it would be fun to do a quick show and tell here about the tools I use most often. 

Starting at the left we have the jewelers saw. Arguably the most important tool I own. After a pattern has been transferred it's often the first tool to touch sheet metal and the result can be dramatic, moving from an open canvas to a refined form as seen here with these floral elements from the Botanical Collection 

Next in line is the file. The one pictured above is a barrette file and only has teeth on one side. It's edges come to a point allowing me to really get into tight corners without affecting the adjacent sides. Files of several shapes and sizes are used to refine a form, smoothing its edges, and creating more dimension through beveling. These ocean creatures from the Seaside Collection have been stamped, cut out, and filed.  

To the right of the file is a chasing hammer. The flat face of this hammer is used to strike other tools, like center punches that are used to create divots for drilling holes, or texturing tools that are used to add detail. The opposite end of this hammer can also be used to add texture. In the image below I used the chasing hammer with a line stamp to add detail to an Orbital cuff

The hammer at the far right is a forming hammer. I use it along with a steel block, anvil, or stake to change the overall shape of a piece resulting in forms that are more 3 dimensional in nature. It can also be used to add texture to a piece as seen in the hammered and formed brass earrings below. 

These are just a few of the many tools I use on a daily basis and I have to say... I love my job!

Thanks for reading! 

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