A self published essay on tools and why I make them.
Tool Museum is a collection of functionless tools. For a farmer’s daughter this has a particular oddness that I am often at pains to explain:
what are they for? Nothing in particular, you can make up a use. But what about this one? You must know what it’s for (why won’t you tell me)?
After 25 years of city living, I moved back to the family farm where the absurdity of something with no obvious function is all the sharper.
The work is a conversation about making, and about remembering life lived in a different way. It speaks from the part of me that knows how deeply making is ingrained within our collective sense of self. The tools I make follow seven archetypal functions. Implied uses to which I lead the viewer and then step out, leaving them to fill the gap. What would I do with this one? I have a sense of them. I repeat the archetypes over and over, to feel the idea of a scoop or a brush or a knife, to explore hammering, raking, poking or looking and get to their essential qualities, but not to define or direct the viewer’s response.
They resonate with a time where we all knew how to make things, and simple solutions to everyday problems were commonplace. Before we were fed ingenious “life hacks” on the web, and DIY repair clinics started to gain momentum with a generation fed up with disposable consumer goods.