Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tools and treasure

Quite some time ago I had arranged for Greg Wilbur (a master metal worker in Portland USA) to have a hand made bowl raising stake and hammer made for me.

©2013 Barry Smith - A maker's mark stamped on the raising hammer
Having tools that are made by artists has that extra something - not are they more likely to do the precise job you want them to do but also are art pieces in their own right as you can see from the photos below.

©2013 Barry Smith - Raising stake and hammer
©2013 Barry Smith - Raising stake and hammer
And as Fiona and I had supported a kick-starter for the East-West metal work exhibition in Portland (opens at the beginning of August 2013) we were rewarded with a small pod hand crafted by metal worker John Wirth - a little treasure.

©2013 Barry Smith - Raising stake and hammer - with Pod
At the moment Fiona and I are planning a mock up for a possible commission. This work will require quite a bit of riveting - so while I was in the hunt for bulk supplies of Sterling silver rivets I decided to buy the small hollow riveting system below. It is a tiny tool compared to the hammer and stake - but it also is made for purpose and does a great precision job on tiny hollow rivets and eyelets.

©2013 Fiona Dempster - Testing the tiny tool on the kitchen bench
©2013 Fiona Dempster - Precision riveting tool
Like most artists a new tool or two brings much joy to me - and hopefully good outcomes.


  1. Wonderful tools to play with.
    Better knee day today, may there be many more! Cheers P

  2. Beautiful! I love handmade tools- or altered tools. My father makes amazing ship models and doesn't use the bits and bobs that come with the kits, he makes everying from wood. So, he often needs to make a tiny tool. He planks the hulls with tiny dowels and teeny tiny drills, steams wood in a handmade tiny steamer. Anyway, tangent... I also love how the hammer looks rather bird-like with its maker mark for an eye.

  3. Luvverly you are just delighted.

  4. Oh I have that little riveting tool and now I have the hang of it I find it immeasurably useful!

  5. Great stuff for Mr Rustnstuff! The big tools look great and as for that tiny riveting tool - just so desirable!

  6. oh what fun, new tools to play with! Love the tiny riveting tool...

  7. P, VA, JM, S & C - thanks for being excited for me regarding the new tools. P - glad to hear the knee is a little better. VA - I loved the story about your dad; and the bird image also caught my eye. JM - delighted is right - IO want to give the stake a decent go - might happen on Friday. S - from your blog I can see the little tool is very useful - just great for the jewellery work. C - the tiny riveting system is pretty cute. All - go well. B

  8. new tools
    good tools
    heart felt made tools
    tools perfect for a task
    are so valuable
    and appreciated
    lovely to see yours

    your moon photos below are amazing!

  9. TL - thanks for your poetic words; and thanks for your praise of moon photos - welcomed from a skilled photographer such as yourself. Go well. B

  10. what a great little tool, and the others, so beautifully made. tools are soo important.

  11. Hey B!!! I was just shopping for a similar tool!! was contemplating whether to get a rivet tool or just the 2-hole puncher. Like you i've always only used an awl and hammer to make holes,but sometimes when there are too many of them in one piece, the sanding down of the sharp edges of the holes drive me nuts!. especially when my sander is just a metal file. Tho i think i'll still prefer the awl and hammer holes sanded down (cos it has the rustic feel and a lot of character) but a tool would be a good addition in times when laziness strikes. now the choice is either the rivet tool, or just the 2 hole puncher.

    now getting back to the handmade tools! Woah! I didn't know there are artisans out there that make them!! super beautiful and again, full of character. I'm guessing, a lot of energy too!


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.