Artists’ Tools: Part 2

Vintage and antique tools are some of the most treasured and sought-after possessions, whether its for nostalgic reasons or simply because there is nothing better on the current market, our relationship with our tools play an important part of our creative process.

In this second part of our tools blog we will be showing you some of the treasured items that we have inherited or collected.

Joan Glasgow regularly uses this beautiful vintage sewing machine that was given to her mum by her dad. She says its stitching is still as smooth as silk!

Jo Coombes has her granny’s leather work bag and its contents. She says, “Poor lady was dumped in at the deep end looking after my brother and me as children and was pretty hopeless domestically (she had had staff to bring up her own daughters). But she smelled wonderfully of talc and camphor, had the most extraordinary pink whalebone corsets, and a closet full of fur coats. Her one culinary achievement was the most delicious hot buttered scones.”

Robertta McPherson’s needlecase and thimble belonged to her aunt, and her pincushion is from the Embroiderers’ Guild Millennium Project. She made the tassel for her scissors so that she can tell which are hers.

Linda Walsh’s Venetian glass pen was a present from her daughter and makes some lovely smooth marks.

Mary Crabb uses a wide range of simple hand tools to make her work. These are just a selection. She says, “Tools are very personal, and just by handling a tool you form a relationship with it. My favourite tools are those I have inherited and remember using as a child. My Grandad used to buy me a new tool every Christmas, each stamped with my initials and the date. These are the most treasured of all.”

During lockdown Kate Davis re-acquainted herself with watercolour painting.

She says, “This made me think of my father who was art trained and encouraged us to draw and not just fill in colouring books. On holiday in February I lost my watercolour box, so I have resorted to using Dad’s box, which I treated badly in my teens. Also I am using my husband’s seldom used paints and adding gouache to obtain certain colours. Derwent Inktense pencils are useful for extra colour and line. I have a large selection of brushes and these were given me by my older daughter. My younger daughter has commissioned a painting of irises from me which is not an easy task as she is a good artist and designer herself.”

…… to be continued ……..

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