(at the work bench) – tools of the trade

cherry-handled tools: traditional backsaw

For nearly everything we do, we rely on essential tools to help us get things done. Whether something as simple as broom and dust pan for tidying up, an iron for pressing out wrinkles or in the case of woodworking: a good saw, ax, mallet, chisel and try square. Even when the form changes from it’s earliest type, the usefulness of these tools remains even across cultures and times become fixtures in our lives.


The cherry-handled wooden back saw is an example of such a tool. It has been hand-crafted with all sorts of personal flourish of the woodworkers past who along with what they made from assorted timbers, often made their own tools to help them through their days work. The handles would have beautiful scrolls not unlike a treble clef on a sheet of music. How important it was to make not only a well-functioning tool, but one that showed the love and beauty one has for ones art.

It is this authenticity I wanted even while making these “toys” for the youngest of woodworkers and apprentices, something that feels genuine in the hand and has the weight of tool that is made to do its work. This happens naturally when something is made with truthful materials, in traditional time honored ways and with a beauty the artisan can only look back at with love all that pat in making a most essential, though common place tool.

6 thoughts on “(at the work bench) – tools of the trade

  1. Oh my son would have loved to have these in his tool box when he was little! He fell in love with a carpenter that we had doing work on our house when he was just 2 years old. He would sit and watch him work and named him, “Hammer Man”.


    1. Oh, thank you! 🙂 I love how the little ones make associations. They seem come up with their own names for the way they understand things, it’s always so interesting to hear the connection. My daughter used to say “bucket truck” for pick-ups and the “sticker store” was the bank. 🙂 Sometimes the kiddos come up with far better and really fun names for their world! Thank you again!


  2. I agree. It is so important to make our every day tools just as beautiful as the items we pull out for special occasions. After all, they are the ones you interact with the most, and can make even the most mundane task more enjoyable. It’s kind of like drinking your morning tea from your favourite, beautiful, hand crafted mug instead of a machine made disposable cup. Thanks for sharing…and your “toys” are lovely, heirloom quality art.


  3. They do look incredible, and I agree, if they can be, tools should always be pretty and feel good to your hand 🙂


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