Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tools, You Want them? I Have Them

Ok, so first I said you can have too many tools. But there is another side.
There is delight in owning good tools and a lot of tools. Having the right tool for the right job, we all know can be wonderful. And, quality tools are important and extra tools are good to so you don’t have to spend a lot of time looking for the tools you cannot find.

I think about tools that have given me the most joy, I remember my first professional twirling baton growing up. Shiny stainless steel with bright white rubber ends. The funky red wooden ones from the farmer’s fair with the cheap glittery ball on the end got me started. It did not last. The stainless steel baton lingered in my life for years. Having the quality baton always gave me feeling of joy and success as I flipped it in the air.
Both worked but the steal one felt good in my fingers. It was the beginning of thinking about quality tools and making a job easier.
Ceramic tools are that way too. I have some tools from my original working days. They still make me feel good and I might even be able to make that perfect pot with some of my better tools.

Making your own tools can be fun when you remember form follows function. My favorite brush was one I hand made, never to be replaced or recreated.

I don’t know any ambitious potter who does not take pride in collecting tools and we covet our favorite tools. Maybe it has to do with efficiency or maybe it is a hopes and dreams and the potential for making new fun pots.
The more tools you have the more fun and creative you can feel. You don’t have to clean them as often and you can keep moving forward.
Ask a tool collector if they have a certain tool and look at their glowing faces as they show you those drawers and drawers of collected tools from years gone by or maybe those new ones they have not yet used. Just having those tools makes them feel fine.

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