Looking into Fall

I know it’s still summer. It’s still hot, although no where near as bad as it was in July. The grass still grows nearly visibly every day. The days stay light well into the evening. But Fall is on the way.

I know Fall’s coming because people are starting to ask about Christmas gifts, flyers advertising opportunities to sell crafts at special events are starting to show up more frequently, and I’m starting to think about glaze formulations again. The first two I get. The last one wouldn’t seem seasonal, but somehow it is. As the days get shorter and cooler, I know I’ll start getting the itch to start mixing test batches of mad scientist glazes. And it will be fun.

But for now, still time to throw and fire and make fun things. The most recent iteration of this cycle was finishing up the most recent school of fence fish. I spent some time Saturday with my new and very spiffy plunge router, cutting “keyholes” in wood blocks then gluing them into the fish. The router is an amazing tool. I’m only using about 0.10% of it’s capabilities in making the keyholes, but it’s so easy, and the results look and work so well, it’s a joy, and worth having. The first school of fence fish had their keyholes cut using a drill press – it worked, but not well. Just shows having the right tool makes a difference.

And when I threw later Saturday afternoon, I used the same 3-5 tools I always use. The rest of the amazing selection of tools just sat there watching. I have to wonder if there’s natural ration of useful to n0t-so-useful tools in any endeavor. I’d bet it’s fairly universal. It would be nice to know which is which at the beginning of the enterprise, but that’s not part of the fun. If you have a core set of “this is all I need” tools, how about posting a note. It would be interesting to see if there’s anything in common.

My list:

– natural elephant ear sponge, about 3.5″ across that I’ve had since 1983.
– 3″ d-rib I made ages ago
– pin tool of unknown provenance and age
– cut off made from 45lb test fishing line and a couple scrap blocks of wood.

The rest of the beautifully crafted and carefully designed tools and items get used, but nowhere near as much as these. And I’m glad to have them. So, what’s always covered with clay and stuck to the table at the end of your day?

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