Tag Archives: crafting

Tools, tools, tools

I’ve been a bit of a sucker for old, hand-powered tools and utensils for a while. At every opportunity, I’ve snapped up rotary egg-beaters and mincers from secondhand shops, and my souvenirs from a trip to West Africa were a sickle and a machete, purchased from tool sellers in the Bamako markets.

Liberty Tools, profiled in the video above is a kind of paradise for those who are excited by mysterious, rusty objects, and in the last couple of weeks, I’ve come upon some other, local vendors for tools. If you’re in Adelaide, check out:

Bakker-Burke
49 Torrens Road, Bowden SA 5007
0417 885 571
Mon-Fri 10.00am-5.00pm
A very impressive collection of old farm and shed tools, as well as kitchen utensils. I was particularly delighted by the presence of scythes, sickles and a comprehensive cross-section of egg-beaters.

Cross Road Collectables
441 Cross Road, Edwardstown SA 5039
Mon-Sat 9.00am-5.00pm
Sun 11.00am-3.00pm
Woah. This place is astonishing, with an array of antiques, tools and kitchen utensils overflowing from the shopfront and spreading, tsunami-like, through the house, the backyard, the carport, the shed. If you like mincers as much as I do, then this place is for you, together with vintage beer bottles, old LPs, comics, saws, soldering irons, souvenir beer steins, you name it really.

Stop By Op Shop
Church of the Trinity, 318 Goodwood Road, Clarence Park SA 5034
Tues-Friday 9.30am-3.30pm
Stop By is conveniently located in a cluster of secondhand and antique shops on Goodwood Road, and while it has a modest collection of goodies, the volunteers are delightful and seem determined to extract as little cash as possible from customers. They’ve recently been receiving tools, and local tradies have already started getting in on the action, regularly checking in for $1.00 chisels and more. Also have great kitchenware and oodles of baby gear. The Salvos have a giant shop across the road too.

There are more, and I’ll share any other discoveries as I come upon them – feel free to share some of your own too!

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Upcycling Pallets: the urban timber source

I’m a long-time admirer of pallets and am regularly delighted by the possibilities they offer for reuse and transformation into other useful objects once their life as a pallet is ended. Likewise, I’m often surprised by the quality of the timber used. I’ve used a red cedar pallet to make a light-weight bike crate, and a couple of years ago used another pallets to bang out an extremely rustic stool. I’ve been pondering some other pallet-based carpentry projects, and have gathered together some inspiration below. It’s especially exciting to see some craftspeople using rough-hewn materials with such elegance. The examples of intelligent reuse are seemingly inexhaustible, so I’ll update this post whenever I have the time and energy!

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Made by Hand

Made by Hand is a new short film series produced in Brooklyn, New York, celebrating, in the words of the creators, that “which is made locally, sustainably, and with a love for craft.” It’s a thoughtful, beautifully assembled series, the first piece a portrait of Brad Eastabrooke, of Breucklen Distilling Company, and the second, shown above, a piece on writer-turned-artisan-knife-maker Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn. The films are inspiring, and offer insights into the nature of craft, the value of objects well made, and the kinds of communities that spring up around and in support of good, honest crafts.

See the full series at Made by Hand.

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Upcycling pallets: how to make a bike crate

Sophie's Belleville, with finished crate affixed

Since Sophie purchased her snazzy new bike, a three-speed, step-through ladies’ Trek Belleville, replete with racks on the front and back, she’s been in need of a receptacle to make those racks all the more user-friendly.

This seemed like a perfect opportunity to hone my fledgling carpentry skills as well as implement my passion for upcycling. Some time ago, I’d spied a pallet abandoned outside a shop at the end of our street. The soft, silvery wood looked to me like red cedar, so partner-in-craft Jeremy and I returned later to collect it. Lightweight and easy to work, a bike crate sounded like the perfect use for such fine timber!

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Time and change: the year of two houses, two bikes and four pumpkins

An experiment in marking time: the year of two houses, two bikes and four pumpkins, illustration by Joel.

Ever since reading Jay Griffith’s book Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time, I’ve been fascinated by the extent to which our relationship and understanding of time is culturally constructed. Our system of numbering off the days and years and months and weeks, and splitting the year into four neat quarters bears little relationship to the reality of their origins: the cycles of the moon, the changing of the seasons.

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How to make a stool from salvaged wood

Inspired by Nina Tolstrup’s book One Block of Wood, and its 15 slick carpentry projects, Jeremy, Innis and I decided to have a bash at the Pallet Stool. Using salvaged wooden pallets, we adapted and belted out a couple of stools in a matter of hours. Due to our breakneck speed and willingness to use our body weight to get results the legs are a bit wonky, but overall they’re more or less stable and bring a robust, post-industrial/Depression-era charm to our living rooms. Apart from the adjust-as-you-go changes we made as a result of having timber of different dimensions to that recommended, the main adaptation we made was to raise the base cross to halfway up the legs, improving the stability and creating the option of a little shelf!

 

The finished products, given a rough sand and oiled with linseed. Photo by Jeremy

 

Click here for downloadable instructions on making the stool, from Nina Tolstrup’s design company Studiomama.

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The Sustainable Food and Farming Quilt Project

With the coldest Adelaide winter in years, now is the time to get quilting. Friends of the Earth is making a quilt to illustrate and celebrate the many visions of a just and sustainable food system, and we would love your contribution!

Like a landscape that feeds its community from a patchwork of farms and wild places, the quilt highlights the diversity of ideas, strategies and projects that make up a sustainable food system, and when completed will be exhibited, used to teach about the food system we need, and may even be entered in the Royal Adelaide Show!

Wherever you are, we invite you to embroider, print, patch, appliqué, sew, stitch your vision for a just and sustainable food system. It might be:

  • something specific (like worm farms, or compost bins, or fruit trees planted in the streets, or rooftop gardens, or farmers’ markets, or heirloom seeds);
  • or general (like stronger communities, or thriving local economies, or diverse polycultural farms, or food sovereignty, or fair trade);
  • or a project you’re already involved with.

Use pictures, use words, use whatever you like (provided it can all be sewn together in the end!

Squares should be 30cm x 30 cm, with a 3 cm border all the way around (so the area for your image is 24 x 24 cm). Feel free to use your own fabric, or contact us if you would like to be sent fabric to get you started.

Submissions are due Friday 20 January 2011, but sooner is always welcome. Please contact us at sophie.green@foe.org.au, or leave a message at (08) 8211 6872 to register your interest.

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