Chapter 1: Tools for the Tool Kit - Part 1

Tools for the Tool Kit - Part 1

If writing this book is a journey, step one is to load up a bag with the conceptual tools we’ll need along the way. Please pardon the brief stopover while I do so. I’ll start with a few major tools here and then add more, later, as we go along.

Reading Pound on influential though short-lived sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, I was struck by Gaudier-Brzeska's insistence on making his own tools. I doubt this was because he couldn’t afford chisels. I believe that he sought a deep understanding of the tools of his craft.

We use a wide variety of tools to think with: stories, theories, models, images. Each tool drags in its own shadow, history, bias, and back story. Each tool has a natural use and boundary conditions where it begins to fail or mislead. It is my belief that tools must be interrogated, tested in the forging as it were, before being safely and properly used.

What follows in this chapter is my attempt to display what my tools want to be: how they function as I understand (or, perhaps, quite publically misunderstand) their essential structure and limitations.

 

 
Gaudier-Brzeska self portrait