Stories

The giant wrench

Posted by Estyn Hulbert on

The giant wrench

I was washing dishes about a week ago when I heard an ominous dripping from under the sink. Sure enough, there was a leak. Leaks fill me with dread because water can be so sneaky and old house plumbing can be so temperamental and one small drip can quickly lead to a giant problem. I spent some time feeling around and looking carefully at the joints between sink and pipe and trap and I figured out that a locknut was cracked. I removed it and took myself to my local hardware store where the good people were their usual patient, kind selves and...

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Is a mirror a tool?

Posted by Estyn Hulbert on

Is a mirror a tool?

This mirror hangs in my hallway.  I love everything about it — its shape, the light feel of the wood, the little groove framing the glass, the angled cover and the way it slots into place. I love the speckles and patina that have developed over years. I even love the little metal part that you thread a string through to hang it up. I grew up with this mirror. I remember when I was very little, watching my father using it when he shaved in the morning. Does that make it a tool? It's hard to imagine shaving without...

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Custom tools

Posted by Estyn Hulbert on

Custom tools

Makers often end up crafting their own tools, geared specifically to the needs of their work. Carpenters build jigs, metalworkers forge hammers and saws, all sorts of tools get jerry-rigged and co-opted in the pursuit of making.  One of these special, custom tools was made for me by Lee Hale, a maker of magical objects and jewelry, who once upon a time was my aunt Jessica Rose's assistant, years before I was. She made this for me and a differently-shaped one for Jessica. It's very small and light, and feels like something you would find in the woods — an acorn or...

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My favorite apple peeler

Posted by Estyn Hulbert on

My favorite apple peeler

I'm discovering just how many tools I use in the kitchen. This one may be the most fun of all. It has a great suction method of attaching to the table and when you turn the handle it simultaneously peels, cores and slices your apple. What's not to love? Have you ever used an apple peeler like this? I have strong feelings about many of the tools I use. As a maker, these tools are almost as meaningful to me as the things I make. I created #toolsontuesday to keep up the practice of sharing stories about the tools we...

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What are you making time for?

Posted by Estyn Hulbert on

What are you making time for?

When I started writing about my family a few months ago, I thought I'd start with my great-grandparents, who were both artists and who inspired the project. But I quickly made some disturbing discoveries that led me several generations further back. This month I've finally written about my great-grandparents, but the information I have feels slight, compared to whole lifetimes. A handful of photos, a few anecdotes, some paragraphs in a biography. All I can do is catalog the crumbs. Read more... I'm taking this year to research and write about my family, sharing what I find here and on...

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