Showing posts with label made by hand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label made by hand. Show all posts

Sunday, January 14, 2018

connecting through our passion, tools

When young my brother and I spent a lot of our childhood in Dad's woodworking shop on Rose Street. While he was crafting crazy cool pieces from his collection of hand tools (the Roy Underhill way) we played at woodworking.  We did this by planing on scrap lumber.  The sensation of that beautifully restored hand-tool, gliding through our hand picked collection of scraps, felt akin to a knife through cheese.  This action of planing while listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival developed our love of working with our hands, me eventually falling in love with the metal arts while my younger brother Stephan a career as a chef and musician.

a toolbox in his current workshop

a large treasured toolbox from his Father

here is a new addition on the shaving horse which holds smalls, such as this piece of treenware

love this large chisel resting on the shaving horse 

LOOK at those handles and customized hatchet.  The outer tools were my focus and then he placed the spoke shave  between the two.  Perfect.
 The above photos were taken during this past Christmas holiday.  The shop is located now in the basement of his farmhouse where a root cellar, laundry area and some lighted indoor shelves (holding vegetable and decorative plants for the upcoming gardening season} all share space. 

My Dad gifted me this year the beautiful chubby hammer above on the stump bench, a gorgeous French cobbler's hammer positioned on the anvil and a little hammer were both from a few year's back.  Each of them married beautifully to lovely hewn wooden handles.  Look at the brass ferrule on my most recent present back on the stump bench.

Wedges added to hold the heads in place

Do you hear the angels singing, haha.  Sunshine streaming in the studio, on the stump, this bright freezing January afternoon. 

"Brass makes it richer",  states the 'artist' :)

My Dad, his lovely wife Jeanette and her oldest grandchild, William after a delicious meal of Clam Chowder, fresh baked rolls and baked Camembert cheese in phyllo. It was a lovely time with family.

Christmas Day 2017, my Father and I in his kitchen. 
I find myself taking photos of the metal's studio more than making jewelry at times  Creating is the important part, from maker spaces showing where it all takes place, to the tangible work hammered out.  
Where ever your studio is I am sure your heart is permanently placed,  in that glorious space, where your soul sings along with the angels.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Off to the PA Wilds with Stephanie Distler Artisan Jewelry

The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania Juried Artisan, Stephanie Distler, creating fresh off the bench #PAWildsMade jewelry.

A close-up of a copper cuff  "Not all those who wander are LOST" and the PA Wilds branding

Sharing a recent post I wrote for The Pennsylvania Wilds are Calling blog of the jewelry line created for them by SDAJ

PA Wilds branded jewelry, made by hand, includes bracelets, riveted rings, pendants, charms, bottle openers and key rings. The items are created from pure copper, sterling silver, stainless steel and food grade aluminum that is hand cut by the artisan from metal sheeting. Some of the steps used in making her line of branded PA Wilds licensed products include first cutting out desired shapes and sizes, grinding and filing edges, hammer forging texture, choosing the metal stamps relevant to the piece (such as a word string or design), work hardening in a tumbler to add strength and then finally sealing in the finish with a museum quality wax product that will last for years.
Stephanie is a self taught jewelry artisan living in Elk County. Using nature for inspiration, she designs and creates artisan jewelry together with hand tools and larger shop equipment. Collecting metalsmithing tools, learning new techniques and then implementing them in her designs is a passion that is the touchstone of daily life: “I am a crazy tool fanatic whether in the studio or preparing dinner for my family a good tool is the key to enjoying the simplest of tasks. When you have a passion for what you do it spills out around you, it’s contagious joy.”

I definitely need to take some new studio portraits, lol

Stephanie Distler Artisan Jewelry  is available at Elk County Council on the Arts, Laughing Owl Press, The newly built PA Wilds Conservation Shop - at Kinzua Bridge State Park (opening beginning of September 2016) along with her working studio and from online shop,

creating 'me' in the Wilds branding

Prices range from $7.00 to $50.00.
“If you love the great outdoors, Stephanie’s PA Wilds collection will blow you away! I live in the suburbs, and my pieces from Stephanie are a way to keep the outdoors close at hand. Her work is awesome!”  -Debra 
“Thank you so much for the PA Wilds elk charm! It is a small piece of home now that I am away. Last year I moved away from the great Keystone state to Iowa and boy do I miss those deep dark woods of Elk County. I used to camp a lot in Benezette. Thanks again for this awesome item!”  -Wally
Just a simply beautiful ring! The rustic design fits so well with the bark like texture….and it does look like bark! This one will rarely leave my finger! -djarus

Locate  #PAWildsMade made by hand through The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania from juried artisans at

captures from Summer


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