Like most crafters, no matter what craft we enjoy, I love tools! I could spend ages browsing through the Cookson Gold catalogue, fondly known as the Cook Book, a trip to the DIY store has me eyeing up the power tools, and even a trip to a car boot sale (garage sale to my friends from the States I think?) sees me making a bee line for the stalls selling old tools and wondering what textures the old battered hammers would create on metal sheet.
My favourite tools by far are some of the oldest I have, ones that I inherited from a friend's parents. I am lucky enough to have a well workshop with modern equivalents of these, but if I had to choose three items to save in (heaven forbid!) a fire, it would be these three.
I have shown this hammer off before on my own blog. If someone had told me a decade ago that I would have such a thing as a favourite hammer then I would have thought them crazy, but this hammer is officially known as Jo's Favourite Hammer to all of my students. It is old. It is battered. But it is its age and the battering the head of the hammer has taken over the years that makes it give a beautiful texture on metal sheet and wire. I left it at college locked away in our equipment cupboard after one evening class and almost had a panic attack when I realised! Thankfully I was back teaching at college again the following evening!
For years all of the holes I drilled where made using this bowline drill. It must be about 40 years old, and the technology that it uses is older than the Egyptians, but modern day bowline drills look almost identical - although of course I think mine is weighted better and works more smoothly! I now use a pendant drill for most of my drilling purely because it is quicker, but if I just need one or two holes drilled then this is what I reach for.
And the last of the trio? You probably didn't expect to see a screwdriver on a jewellery blog! I actually use this for stone setting. My friend's Dad had ground down the edges and shaped it beautifully so that it is perfect for pushing the sides of a bezel over a stone and for burnishing, especially in tight spaces. The handle sits perfectly in the palm of my hand - it could have been made for me!
I would love to hear about your favourite tools - are they old favourites like mine? Were they made specifically for your craft or have you adapted them from other uses? Let me know!