I am a collector of things. Yes I connect with many objects whether it be of natural origin or of antique and vintage aged items, they infatuate and inspire me. They all have a story to tell, through their lines and markings and worn areas, you are left to wonder what journey they have been through in their previous existence?
The stones that I am a drawn to have been part of the earth for more years than I can even fathom. I am forever imagining the paths they have taken while being tumbled by the ocean and from the depths of where they have come, only to be transported to the beaches via the rolling and often times crashing waves. These beach stones, beach rocks or, amazing treasures of the sea as I like to call them, are my inspiration daily. In order to showcase them in the way that I envision them I start with simple things, tools of my trade you would say, most importantly my hammers.
I am fortunate enough to have some very meaningful sources for my tools, as with my stones the story of how they came to me is as important as the hammer itself. Each time I reach for my treasured ball peen hammer I remember that it is a tool that hung amongst the throngs of well-worn tools from my Father’s work bench. This man who willed me his passion to attempt to try anything, this mechanic who spent his life fixing anything and everything he could get his hands on. I feel his energy with the blows of the hammer and revel in the feeling that he is always watching me from his place high above and guiding me through my processes with both pride and criticism, of which I deserve both.
I have been given the privilege to live across the street from my partner Pam’s Grandfather’s house for 9 years now. His workshop is filled with tools that were from his father and his grandfather and so on. These hardy Mainers from Cushing & Thomaston were seafaring folk and their tools have stories that even I can’t imagine being a part of. Bump, as Pam would call her Grandfather, had many jobs in his 96 years of life, a few were working at the Bath Iron Works and the crew that constructed Maine Yankee in Wiscasset. He came to be a caretaker here on Montsweag Rd for the “summer people”, so each and every tool had a journey through many lives. Several of these treasures are in my possession and when I grip their aged handles I am reminded of his steadfast spirit and once again he shared my fathers ability to attempt most of any project.
I feed my soul with a good “find” while visiting the Montsweag Flea Market as well as yard sales and other great antique markets all year-long. These tools are those I know no stories about, but from markings on the faces and surfaces I understand that each worn handle was held with a need, a passion to complete the task at hand. I have created patterns in the faces of some of these hammers and it is with that hammer blow I achieve my own unique and one of a kind texture. This hammer blow and the pattern it leaves behind brings me the joy of a job well done and I feel guided by everyone before me who has held each hammer in their hand. Whether it be a carpenter, ship builder, mechanic, cobbler, farrier, iron worker, plumber or a woman like me who hammers silver, the energy they left behind is with me guiding me through each strike.
Tools are what allowed these people to problem solve and fix what was broken and build the foundation for projects both small and large. These same tools are now the tools of my trade along with some new purchases and I hope that someday they will part of someone elses life, so that they too can feel the energy that I have added and the passion I feel for each one’s unique shape, weight, age and smooth worn handles.