Just as clothes suggest a particular attitude or posture, tools lend themselves to a certain stance and reinforce a way of moving. The appropriate outfit complements the set of tools required for a sequence of moves, and ‘craft’ becomes a performance tailored to the task at hand. I find myself creating a kind of character when engaged in production handwork, and enjoy the theater of congruency between my craftitude and the thing I’m making, the audience being the end user.
My character’s craftitude is kind of vaudevillian, the comedy being the result of one who ritualizes the mundane skills associated with repetitive handwork, not unlike Norton’s classic antics in ‘The Honeymooners’.
Art Carney as Ed Norton on ‘The Honeymooners’, demonstrating golf
For me, a Good Day in the studio begins with choosing the right pencil, around which I tend to construct a persona. For drawing I use an HB graphite stick or a Grumbacher charcoal pencil, for drafting I prefer a Staedtler 2H; for fine woodwork I lean towards the Black Warrior 2.5, and for lofting and rough layout I either use white chalk or a large, blue pencil by Dixon (see above), of which I am running short. I also maintain a collection of pencil sharpeners, including the APSCO ‘Premier Portable’, the Classic ‘Sanford Chicago’, and my favorite, the ‘Giant’, a transparent model made by the Automatic Pencil Sharpener Company. Always start the day with a good, sharp pencil!