Knife Etiquette or Manners

Lots has been written about knife etiquette, the proper way to hand a knife to another person and other safety tips. I have a different approach that I’d like to talk about. To me the most important manner is not to ask to borrow a knife in the first place. If you need something cut, ask for it to be cut. I think it is rude to ask to borrow someone’s knife, nobody likes it believe me. 40 plus years ago a co-worker asked to borrow my knife without thinking I loaned it, he snapped the tip off opening paint cans.  Really does it look like a screw driver? People are stupid especially when it comes to knives. Just because your knife is important to you not everyone feels the same and most don’t.

Now, if you want to show your knife, they say when handing a fixed blade knife to someone to do it handle first, blade away from your hand, NO. Just sit it down on a table the ground or whatever. Do you really want someone playing Zoro while your hand is outstretched? They might, just think about it. A folding knife is easier and more obvious, close it of course but I still say sit it down.

Anyway that’s my two cents. There are somethings that you just don’t share or loan.

Stay safe and be sharp.

A clean work bench at last!

A clean work bench at last! Well, not really, my work bench is still piled high with all of my projects or rather some of my projects.If you are anything like me ( no insult intended) and your work bench has an open flat spot you will quickly find something to place there. Normally this isn’t a huge problem but it keeps from starting projects because I know that I have 15 minutes or more of work just to clean a spot to work. I’ve found a solution, the other day I was at Harbor Freight and saw this cool little table, they are calling it a bench grinder stand but I’m calling it my unclutterable work bench. You see you can’t clutter it because the top is too small, brilliant you say. I put a small piece of plywood as a top and to give me a spot to clamp a pivoting vise. I’ve been taking it out on the porch and doing my carvings and other projects and I think that I could set-up the vise to be a stitching horse for sewing leather. I’ve also put my bench top belt sander on my magic bench, being careful to clamp it in place. When I’m done I just blow off the the little bench and bring it back in the house.

Here are two photos of the unclutterable bench. That vise is very cool, it swivels, rotates and has two heads, I’m using the smaller one here.  WP_20150718_15_29_59_Pro WP_20150718_15_30_17_Pro

Art knife, paper craft knife

2014-06-28 09.11.40I’m a paper artist I cut stencils and do cut paper art.
I talked my shop into making these for me and now I want to offer them to you. I wanted a beautiful knife but it had to be functional too. I personally hand finish everyone of these after the shop does their magic. The handle is 5/16″ hexagonal solid brass, the hexagonal shapes helps prevent the knife from rolling off the workspace. I made the handle shorter for two reason, first to feel more solid lower in my hand and secondly since I often work under a magnifier I didn’t want it to hit the lens. I’ve shown a picture of the knife in my bigger than average hand and one picture in a smaller woman’s hand.
Solid brass handle which holds standard #11 blades, Excel blades are my favorites by the way. This knife is a labor of love I hope that you enjoy using one of them as much as I do.   The knife is available on ebay from seller PilgrimageArts, that’s me.

2014-06-28 09.13.20 2014-06-28 09.13.43

Where do you turn?

Where do you turn after a bad event or accident? I mean after you have received your care or the immediate danger has passed. I was recently injured and after the dust settled I turned to art and poetry to find solace. Classical Chinese poets in particular and calligraphy and for want of a better term geometric art. The borders and decorations that are found in much if not most “primitive” art. I don’t like the primitive art description but have yet to come up with a better term. To me it is the raw unpolished art that is full of the soul of the artist and the Creator. I think God lives in these decorations. The patterns that are scratched out on stone, bone, clay or on other media are healing somehow, to me at least. So that is where I turn and my goal is to stay with these friends and share what I find with you my reader. The pilgrimage continues.

Content or John Hancock

Content is king or so the saying goes. While content is important so is design. Content is not the whole message, where the percentage lays I don’t know but probably nearer a balance than I would have thought in the past. Now I may be a bit biased since I am a fan of calligraphy in all it’s forms. Design can even be your signature, think about the Declaration of Independence, what would the impact have been if it was signed with a series of Xs? We still speak 200 plus years later of John Hancock’s signature as being significant. His signature made a difference because of it’s design, form and beauty. Yes King George would have gotten the message but it came through loader and cleaner because of the way it looks. My point here is pendulums swing and right now it seems to be in the “just worry about content” camp too much. The local schools no longer teach cursive writing. My question who will sign the next Declaration of Independence?


Frost came again last night

The garden felt deaths venomous cold bite

Frost came again last night

beginning Winter’s cleansing

Spring can’t even be imagined.


Long slender fingers

around her cup of tea.

Sculptor shaping clay.

Words Have Rights

Where is our language going? There is much talk about disappearing languages and I think it is tragic and that we should try to preserve them when ever possible. Although another part of me says that a languages purpose is to communicate and if it no longer fulfills that function then, well, it’s over for it but I just don’t like that idea. Maybe all languages will merge into one big universal mess, I think that would be a tragedy and so much would be lost, all the nuances  and untranslatables would be gone into lowest common denominator blur. Right now our language is under assault  by politicians and advertisers in particular, these two groups are making words hate themselves as the words see their meanings destroyed. Words like to have meaning, words have a soul, words are begging to be given back their power. Creating confusion is not something a word is happy with. We have allowed this to happen, I not sure how, but we need there to be accountability in speech and writing, to no longer allow doublespeak or whatever euphemism is applied to the misappropriation of a word’s hard fought for meanings.  Words have rights and we should respect them. This doesn’t mean definitions can’t evolve, they can, just as any being evolves adjusts and modifies to outside influences. A conservative ethos needs to be adopted with words allowing their meanings to be restored and in some cases remembered. With this conservation and a refusal to allow doublespeak from anyone we can get back to understanding and perhaps find the compassion needed to save ourselves.


Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if Gutenberg hadn’t come along with his movable type and printing press? So everything had to be written by hand, from your soul to the tip of your pen or maybe your soul to the tip of the calligraphers pen. One thing for certain books would be more valuable and treasured, throw away novels wouldn’t exist. I knew a guy that would throw away chapters as he read them, just tear them off and into the fire, kind of made me sick but that’s another story. Would writers be more careful about what they write? I know that it was a great, liberating invention that freed books from the privileged  and all that good stuff. I’m searching for the sacred and somehow feel that by increasing the difficulty of production there would be a condensation of thought, that what would be written would be meaningful more connected to what is important. Others would say that it would be stifling expression, that only the wealthy could get their ideas into to book form, almost said print, oops. Of course I couldn’t do this blogging and I would be sad about that so yes I say thank you Mr Gutenberg but still I wonder.


Magic in Words

Her mind and then her body dances with words. Each words vibration starts as it enters her ears. Then the caressing begins, tickling her mind and flowing towards her feet, she could feel her body warming as she starts to move, feeling the rhythm of each word. For her words are a consumable, a steady diet is needed. She collects them, savors their sound and texture. She likes to watch old movies for the dialog and wishes for a friend that shares her passion for words. Most of her coworkers seem use about  47 variations of the F word to say all they can process, she just nods her head and puts her headphones back on. She knows there is magic in words and wonders why so many have forgotten that.