It’s not often we have two classes in session that predominately use hammers, pliers, saws, knives, drills, gouges, torches, burners and more, but it happened when both Kay Rashka’s Metalwork Jewelry Boot Camp and Woodcarving with Jerry Landwehr were here earlier in September.
Where a set of carving tools can fit in a nice case or box, the many hundreds of pounds of metalwork tools, equipment and supplies need the space Kay’s entire pickup truck offers. However, this post is not just about the tools, it’s about what you can do with the tools!
To create metalwork art jewelry, there’s cutting, filing, stamping, etching, piercing and soldering. Along with all the “-ing’s” you do with the various tools, there’s an abundance of creativity involved.
Kay not only brings the tools, materials, samples (and chocolates), but covers and demonstrates so many different techniques during the four-day class. Here she is pouring molten silver into a bundle of broomsticks to make an organically-shaped piece of silver.
In the woodcarving class, students new to the art worked on a Chickadee while more experienced carvers brought a work in progress. With Jerry’s guidance, the birds’ features are revealed and they take wing.
In the spirit of planning ahead, the project for next year’s carving class was revealed…a Pileated Woodpecker. Now there’s a bird with a beak that serves as a powerful built-in tool!
Writing about tools (and birds) reminds us again of Walter Schutz. In 1955, his book, “How to Build Birdhouses and Feeders” was released. Two revised editions followed, one in 1963 and the last (pictured at the right) in 1970. The book was an extension of Walter’s interest in hobbies and writing for the homecraftsman, “who prefers to make rather than purchase many of the things you need.”
Working for Delta Manufacturing Company in the late 1930’s/early 1940’s, Walter assumed the role of advertising and sales-promotion for Delta, which included producing The Deltagram, a booklet to teach woodworking machine skills and provide project plans. It provided popular and attractive projects with easy-to-understand plans which helped home woodworkers get started. It also served to promote the sale of Delta tools. It was sold on a subscription basis of six issues a year for 50 cents. In a 1988 issue of Fine Woodworking magazine, Walter revisited the story of the 20-year history of The Deltagram, recalling that subscriptions went from 9,000 in 1940 to well over 92,000 in 1948, capturing the post-war market for the homecraftsman in conjunction with the widespread availability of tools and the ever-growing number of ‘how-to’ books and magazines.
Tool times indeed, then and now!