I wish that we had a name for the specific feeling that comes with having the exact right tool for getting a task done. That feeling is a very particular twinge of satisfaction that feels me with warmth. It is even more satisfying when the exact right tool is one that I or someone else has custom-made for me.
One of the most satisfying tools that I own is a custom drilled bit. It is a simple round post that goes into the drill with a short flattened piece of metal attached on one end so that it looks like an T with an elongated stem. I use this bit to twist the wire that I then hand wrap with thread and use as the basis for my military (hat making) and masquerade making. This bit was gifted to me by a blacksmith friend who had watched me hand twist wires all day for days. He heard me complain of the pain that this process created in my wrist. He had seen the impact of that pain on my ability to life. He had also heard me asking the universe for a tool. I often talk to myself as I work.
He responded by producing one. This little bit does the work of several days in an hour. At the end of the hour I am pain-free. All I need is the bit to drill and a charged battery. Game changer!
There’s one complication though, I don’t own my own drill or any power tools! I’ve always borrowed them from friends or hustled them up in some other way. This despite the fact that I build things that require these tools quite regularly.
Over the past year I have been intentionally building up my tool library. Covid has made it more difficult to borrow or hustle up tools. Now that I’m on the road bouncing between residencies I’m at the mercy of whatever the space has to offer.
I need my own tools! I need to be able to work without spending weeks figuring out how to get access to some thing that I need. Or without having to put my body through the unnecessary pain of doing my hands things that could be done with tools. This dynamic of having expertise to do something but not having access to her owning the tools to do it is part of how capitalism works.
Capitalism ensures that workers are kept from owning the means of production, the things that they need to do their work. This could be land (tenant farming), seeds (think Monsanto), tools, equipment (like having to rent tractors or plows each year), time, energy, emotional capacity, and the capital to be able to access all of the aforementioned things. Under capitalism capital is the means of accessing things but it does not have to be.
Time could be the means, relationships could be the means, direct trade and barter could be the means. We can and do use all of these methods. Still cash, credit even, is king under capitalism. Under capitalism the folks who have the capital have the ability to control the means and to hold the people captive in debt slavery cycles like rent or wage labor or higher education loans. I am anti-capitalist. I am out here working to build systems, frameworks of thought, ways of being and relating that allow me and everyone else to have access to the means to self determine the shapes of our lives. My request for tools as a request for you to help me get free.
I am inviting you to support my work by adding tools to my library. See my wish list belofw! I accept donations of previously loved tools that are in good working order. In fact many older tools are longer lasting and better made than their newer counterparts. These older tools are mostly metal and have replaceable parts where the newer ones are mostly plastic and are made to be disposable.
DM me for the address of where to send the tools.
I still write everything by hand until I get to the final draft. This paper tablet will translate my handwritten notes directly into typed text. It will save me time and pain from wrist strain. IT also allows me to take handwritten notes onto digital pdfs. I can then print the notes ( on the pdf pages or separately) and search the notes digitally.
Remarkable Pen $99
A pen to go with the above tablet.
Powkey Hp200 $149.99
This is a portable charging station for powering devices while I am working in nature, in transit or otherwise do not have access to electricity. (I wasn't able to find it anywhere but on Amazon.)
For editing still images, moving images and sound. For word processing web surfing and all that jazz. My current laptop, a 2016 Macbook Air does not have the storage or processing speed to be able to handle my current work.
For studio work including carpentry and millinery. Also for housework and home building.
Ryobi Brushles, Cordless
Heavy duty sewing machine that is mostly metal and has parts that can replaced with they break. It able to sew through heavy duty materials like leather and jean. Has a fast motor that cuts down on construction time.
Jiffy J-1 Hat Steamer $121.33
For shaping and forming hats, fascintors and masquerade pieces
Mobile wire shelving 36" x 18" x 69" (need 4) $215 each
For keeping studio and storage organized in a way that allows me to easily access everything as needed.