Custom Bone and Steel Tools for Book Working with Shanna Leino – Day 1
In the afternoon I took Shanna Leino‘s toolmaking workshop. We met in the metals studio, which was wall-free – it’s a bit like a shelter you might find in a park. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day. Oh, if you’re wondering, Ox-Bow doesn’t have a bone studio.
We were introduced to the various tools that we’d be using on our bone folders – it’s primarily hand work. She said that she’s often asked why she doesn’t teach the workshop using power tools and she had a wonderful response:
There’s nothing like lavishing a lot of attention on something by hand.
This was soon followed by:
My day hasn’t started unless I’ve cut myself.
That was part of the safety lecture. As one would expect, don’t aim sharp or bladey things at your body parts.
Shanna did a demonstration of how to use a rasp (in a non-raspy voice). She gave us this great tip – put a tennis ball on the handle of the rasp and then you can rest that end of it on your leg (the ball adds cushion). Secure the other end of the rasp and then you can just move the bone over it to remove material.
If this doesn’t make sense, just check out the photo below, which will hopefully clarify it for you.
You start with the coarser rasp and work your way down to the finer ones. If you need to remove a lot of material, use a hatchet. I was afraid to use a hatchet (mostly because I was tired), so I started with a thinner piece of bone.
We’re working with elk bone and got to choose the size and shape we wanted to use.
Here are the pieces I chose:
And here’s the piece I worked on today:
Now you get to watch it get smoother:
As you can see, I’m making my bone folder with two flat, spatula-esque edges – I like having tools I can get into tight spaces. I’m just now realizing that it kinda looks like an oar.
I have this strange urge to create a wavy midsection…or perhaps a spiral like this etching tool?