I, like a lot of people, love getting new things for my art, be it a new baren (handmade glass), new tools, or new lino, there is something very exciting about it.

However, there is something I like even more and that is making gizmos from bits and pieces or adapting things to make my life easier. I expect some of you may think the first is a travesty, but the tools are mine and it makes my life a whole lot easier.

The first 2 are, as you can see the rack, made by my lovely husband, but found that I kept tapping the tooltips when I replaced them, so thanks to some insulation tape that we had knocking around, this is no longer a problem. The second is painting the tool handles. Whilst handles made of wood are beautiful, when I am working with them and they are on the table, the colours help me grab the ones I want. There are a couple I hardly use and they rarely leave the rack. With hindsight, I should not have bought a set.

My husband – he is so helpful, made me a bench hook after me watching a few tutorials. The “stop” end bit was too far away, so rather than cut it up, we brought the stop down to the middle so it can still be used for longer pieces…. but I just cannot get on with bench hooks or even those nonslip mats…. so it is ready to be adapted into something else.

Probably my favourite item was as a result of accidentally forgetting to take a break, my neck was so painful. So I fiddled with the height of my chair, elevating my work area, tilting the work area. Then fate intervened, someone was selling an old portable easel. After changing the height of my chair again, I worked out the angle that was best for me assisting the stress on my neck. Unfortunately the mechanism for holding the tilt wasn’t strong enough to take the pressure of me carving on it, so I stole a box of drill bits (sorry hubby, I didn’t realise you were looking for them), which has since been replaced by a wooden lath. But fate hadn’t finished.. I saw a youTube video by East of Awesome for a Spinatron (Check it out). I made my verson and it simply is a game changer.

Using a rotating cutting board -( never knew this existing), It was attached to the surface of the easel and on that a non slip mat. You then place the lino on it and rotate it as you work. I have made a couple of amendments to suit the way I work. Its amazing – a game changer.

I wonder what the next improvement to the way I work will be?

Being Resourceful