Tools- Celebrate the Letter T

Are you a creative that values your tools and supplies? Of course you are!

One of the comments made to this post sparked me to edit this story with an illustration of how important tools are to artists. Growing up, my mother was a seamstress. She valued/guarded those scissors of hers like I do my chocolate. She had a note attached to a long elastic string tied onto them that attached to the side of her sewing machine that warned us not to take or use them. She was serious. NO ONE MESSED WITH HER TOOLS.

I’ll be teaching an introductory earring making class soon and basic tools in good working order are “must-have” items.  Today, I celebrate the letter “T” which stands for tools.002

I care for my tools because I have invested money in them and use them everyday. I replace tools when I need to from wear and tear use because a dull or broken tool is not useful or productive. I found that out the hard way. When a tool is no longer sharp for cutting for example, it takes longer to stress it to do so, and that is a waste of time, effort and energy. It’s better to have a tool that is doing what it is meant to do: work with ease.

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Comfort is also a factor in deciding if my tools are too worn to keep or not. If the handle cushions are worn, it is more than likely going to be a tool that can hurt me. Padding it with tape is not the answer because the feel of the tool in your hand changes at that point.

Loose or broken springs make your tools ineffective, and the quality of your work lessens when a tool mars the surface. Sometimes my tools rust. There may be several reasons why that happens but, it is far more inexpensive to take proper storage precautions than to constantly replace a discolored tool from lack of care.

As a note about Club Creative Studio tools: some are traditional tools that are made for a specific task. Some items I utilize as helpful tools are to be considered non-traditional.  It is the out-of-the-ordinary, household items that make the best working aids.  In the above photograph, can you identify the tool located on the far left?

That item is from the board game Scrabble®. The wooden tray (as pictured) that holds the individual letters is a perfect measuring tool.  The length of that tray/shelf is the average length to create a bracelet. So, without measuring with a ruler, a set length can be determined and the beads can align on the shelf lip from tip to tip before the stringing and construction is started. It’s a great lay-out place and can be left easily in a start or stop point.

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I have been told that nothing is safe around here and I could potentially turn almost any household item into an effective tool for the art studio. With that being said, SHHHHH don’t tell anyone that I have our bread cutting board, cookie cutters, spice shaker containers, pasta machine, toaster oven, mini food processor and much, more dedicated to clay now. I say: a tool is valuable if it is useful, no matter where it’s origins.

If you are a craft/art person do you have any strange non-traditional tools that make your creative job easier? Let us know about your creative art tool box content. You may spark others to use the same ideas.

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Putting It Together- Cold Connections

Club Creative Studio- Cold connection art

Club Creative Studio has been a busy place.  I have had a great time working with my mixed metal recently.  Discovering how and what I want to create by meshing layered metals in a cold connection (rivet technique) is a fun challenge. Of course, I wish to also incorporate my hand-made beads as well.

I have been working with 24-guage sheet metals. I have found that to be the most beloved thickness to design and make my jewelry with.  My studio is quite noisy when I decide to texture my metal pieces because I am hammering and pounding.  I have a new textured hammer that is double-sided and has interchangeable ends for making interesting designs.  And I also use my chasing hammer as a multi-purpose hammer for smoothing and doming, shaping and riveting. The ball-peen hammer is my main punching tool and I love the surface texture I can pound using this type hammer.

Recently to incorporate my hand-rolled clay beads, I create a pendant using mixed metals and a cold connection, then add Club Creative Studio one-of-a-kind beads to the art.  What a great combination.  To see more, be sure to check on the Facebook page and online. I will be adding sneak peek photographs and items available for in those particular venues.

http://www.facebook.com/clubcreativestudio

http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

I will be taking photos of my metal working tools at some point and use them as a blog topic. Would that be of interest to you? Let me know what other tools of my trade you would like to learn more about.  Be creative every day!

 

 

 

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>My Most Important Tools Aren’t In A Box

>My most important tools aren’t in a box.  An artist’s toolbox can consist of state-of-the-art equipment but, when the day is done, the reality is that the tools on the workbench need to be time-tested, efficient, and ready to use at any second for any stage of your creative project.

An artist relies on imagination and creativity in the production of their art but, they also need to have a system that is productive to their method and incorporates their skills and special techniques. They have to have the right tools available for a given task.  They don’t have to be high-tech.  They do have to be useful.  They should be proven by you that they have stood the test of time and will always work for you in your situation.

As an artist, you take yourself from idea to reality on a daily basis.  To travel from creative points “A” to “Z” which means that you are aware that many steps are involved in your entire production process.  The steps may include trial and error situations as well.  The important tools that you have to use to make it through your process are the stepping stones to the manufacturing of your artful item.  These tools have to be effective to you or they are rendered useless.  They need to be efficient tools.  They need to be safe, sharp, and they need to do the job easily that you intend for them to do- always.

I don’t have a “tool box” full of equipment accumulated that is kept out of sight in storage.  I do however, have tools “on display” of sorts, that are in immediate sight for me to use.  My most important tools aren’t stuck in a box waiting for me to pull them out for use.  They are readily available on my design tables.  All of the main tools that I need are placed close at hand for use.  I have cute mugs with inspirational quotes on them holding various paint brushes.  I have a few beaded decorated jars that hold items like small clay tools.  I have rotating shelves and containers of items that I need for almost every task.  I also have a few zipper shut travel size tool pouches that hold and organize my hand tools that I need.  Most items in use also have identical “back-ups” for the times when one is misplaced or needs to be replaced due to over-use.  It is always good to keep tabs on the tools that you have and replace them as needed.

Remember, vital instruments need to be close at hand so that they are utilized and found quickly.  Evaluate your tools often for wear and tear for better efficient use of them.  Make sure that you have plenty of tools so that you are never without and have to compromise for the tools that you heavily rely on as “must haves”.  Lastly, don’t just collect tools in a tool box.  Use your most important tools for your most important projects- your daily creative outlets!

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