I’m pinching myself here, I made it through the first challenge? A huge congratulations to Kim on her wonderful winning design and for setting the bar so high. I bet I’m not the only one hoping to see her work pop up for sale soon.
This brief was something new for me. Up until now I’ve only ever designed patterns for myself and because I like florals (and my teacher liked florals too) I’ve only ever done florals. Tools aren’t florals… Hmmm… A quick audit of handheld tools around my home mostly came up with objects that could double as weapons.
Early on in the challenge when my brain was still trying to work out how to justify making a floral (flowers are tools of love?), I thought a lot about the link between the work of a maker and the tools they use. In a way every manmade thing is as much about the tools and materials as it is about the idea, story or use. It is through the marks tools leave that we can see the craftsperson’s hand and mind at work. Things created by tools are not created in a vacuum either, there’d be no pen tool in illustrator if it wasn’t for someone long ago inventing the pen and there’d be no computer to run illustrator on if Joseph Jacquard hadn’t built on existing weaving technology and invented the Jacquard loom in 1801. I started to discover that tools tell great stories by themselves.
I started researching different kinds of tools and typing out a huge list, hoping to stumble upon something so beautiful that I’d instantly know I’d found the right subject. Instead I just spent hours at my computer compiling a really long list that would be impossible to pick from. Then it hit me, or rather I hit it… over and over and over and over again. Not a day goes by where I don’t use my keyboard to create something. It is by far the most used tool in my life.
Sadly a carton of chocolate milk and a few glasses of water mean that my laptop’s keyboard has seen better functioning days. I often daydream about picking the broken keys off and throwing them across the room or dropping the whole thing off the balcony and watching bits go flying everywhere like confetti. I promise I’m a calm and rational person, I just think it is almost time my computer and I went our separate ways. Distorting and smashing up a keyboard, even if it was done on a computer, was quite therapeutic.