Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Daddy's Tools

My daddy was always using his hands, he was a craftsman, skilled and detailed. He always kept his things very organized and clean. Our home was small but he made sure that it never fell into disrepair. In the summer he would meticulously mow the lawn, keeping the grass soft like carpet under my bare feet. He is still one of my greatest hero's though he's no longer with us. In 1994, at the age of 54, he passed away, one of the most challenging years of my life.

As a metalsmith, now I'm a craftsman and I love having that in common with my daddy. My husband and I took on the task of cleaning out daddy's tool shed for my mother about 10 years ago. And I feel that my daddy is always with me when I use his tools. I've been looking for hammers that can produce unusual textures and just last night my husband was reviving one of daddy's old hammers. It was perfect! A drywall hammer
with round and checkered head, wedge shape polished steel blade and a hickory handle. There was a bit of rust on it so I cleaned it up and polished the checkered face. Daddy always marked his tools with an engraver and you can still faintly make out his name in the metal of the steel blade. I can't wait to make something new with my daddy's hammer!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Studio Bunnies

You may have heard of house rabbits...well, I have studio bunnies. Their names are Heidi and Gretchen. Two sisters that we brought home when they were just 8 weeks old. Now they are 2-1/2 years old and very loving companions.

Most people don't know that bunnies can be very curious and social. My two girls are kept safe and secure in a very large 4' x 8' comfy cage. So, when they are out of the cage for some social interaction they want to be involved. As you can see by this picture, Gretchen enjoys working at the jewelry bench.

But usually while Gretchen is distracting the "up-rights" Heidi is getting into trouble. And inevitably, she will be a disapproving rabbit, which she has been since she was just a baby. Here is one of my favorite pictures of Heidi as a tiny disapproving bunny girl (about 7 to 8 weeks old.)

K. Berlin Metalsmith's Fan Box