I've been enjoying the slow collection of vintage tools. So many of our devices are plastic, that it's really nice to come across an old once-loved and well-used tool for my studio. The tracing wheels are terrific for rolling in paint and then frolic up a page, or better yet, poking through a corrugated cardboard surface. The newer ones aren't as pokey, with much smoother edges on the wheel. The old ones may not be safe but they can assist you to do cool stuff. The awls are so nice to hold, and they force nice holes. I am so happy to have a toolbox that is filling up with these treasures.
Inspired by Louise Nevelson's monochromatic assemblages with emphasis on shadows, I have been manipulating surfaces in cardboard as part of demo sample for the Debris Journal workshop in July. Similar to working in altered books, where I believe it is much more interesting to alter the text and minimally modify the page with subtle markings versus full-on coverage with paint and collage material, I think that starting a cardboard journal should be all about how to respect the material and then determine methods of achieving interest with clever cuts, folds, and punctures. Below you can see some examples I'm preparing - the die-cut circles and the bull-nose corners were part of a cardboard package. I can never resist unusual findings when it comes to cardboard as they make for great pages in the journal.
Below is another vintage tool - a man-made protractor for determining angles. Some person scored in these lines with precision. Amazing, don't you think? Found on ebay about ten years ago!
I love that these tools belonged to someone. I love that there must be stories about how they were used. I really wish I could rub the wood and learn the history. Since I can't do that I will just carry the artisan in my heart when I'm working with their tools.