The X-Acto Knife and the Cutting Board (Beth) –

When the blade is sharp (brand new, just installed), there’s nothing quite like it. It slices paper soundlessly, divides the parts, refines the signature blocks, lulls me into a deep meditative peace. Hours can go by, and I’ll notice little else but the sweet edges, one after the other, until the blade begins to bump against the fibers, and I’ll have to start again. Call Bill, who installs the new blade better than I can and never complains when I ask him.

My cutting board has a black side and a green side, and both are pretty beat up now. Half the markings are faded, and there are holes where the whir of a Dremel approached—the rotating drill bit didn’t go all the way through, but it wanted to. But without the board, there can be no blades, without the lines there can be no measuring twice, then three times and cutting again.

Well, of course there are workarounds, but these are my tools. I can make any claims that I want to.

Torch (Bill) –

I have a lot of nice ceramics tools and equipment in the studio. Some I’ve made, some I’ve bought, and some has been given to me – I like them all. If I had to pick a favorite I’d say it’s my propane torch. I seem to reach for it a lot. It must be the fire. Also, I haven’t burned myself or anything else I didn’t intend to, yet. We still have time.

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