Just some things to consider:
A friend picked up one of those fancy Sherrill Do-All trimming tools for me and the different design made using it as if I were almost a novice potter again. I have been so familiar with my Kemper loop tools that using them was like an extension of myself. I could express what I wanted how I wanted. Its what I knew how to do.
The interesting thing is that the new tool stopped me from expressing those things. Isn’t that interesting? I could no longer get from A to B as confidently. I no longer had the assurance that what I wanted to say could be said.
And then it occurred to me that I had become a cypher of my tool’s expression. By accepting the Kemper as my designated means of cutting feet I became a victim of its limitations and an exponent of its graces. I was making the feet that this tool allowed me to make. I was becoming a tool of my tool.
The question is, are we bigger than the tools we use, the language we speak? Yes we need a certain amount of framing for our questions to even be questions, but are they the limit of what we are allowed to speak? Are they among the inevitable permutations?
Sometimes picking up a new tool lets us know how beholden we were to the old tool. At times a tool can become our excuse for actually expressing ourselves. We say what we know how to say. The tool itself can be the vehicle for our expressions. Its limits are our limits. It can become more than the cart being led by our horse. The tool can sometimes become the horse itself. The tool can be what leads us forward, sets the tone and pace, and justifies what we do. We end up serving the tool’s qualities and abilities.
And when the ‘tool’ is the master, who precisely is the tool?
Just an interesting question to ask 🙂
I am looking forward to using my new Mud Tools trimming tool and exploring the things that are uniquely possible with it. Because, the freedom to choose between different ways of doing things means that I am not the victim of a single technical possibility.
Maybe that’s a good thing.
Make beauty real!