As I was preparing this post on tools as decorative accessories, I saw on Daniella Thompson’s Facebook page a story about this sign being stolen.
It is from the former Pacific Saw Works, at 4401 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland, founded in the 1930s by Alexander J. Ponchione. Today the building is home to artists’ studios. It is a great sign.
The best tool sign in Berkeley is from Hido Japanese tools.
We have another,
They make custom bikes.
Other decorative uses of saws:
Next up in the tool-as-decoration category is the spade or shovel. I only have one well-taken photo in this posting, and it is of a spade and so I will start spades strong. It is a photo by John Storey of a Mark Bulwinkle gate at the Maybeck Sack House on Twin Maybeck Drive:
Great photo! Greater gate! Shovel! Or – spade!
Another Bulwinkle shovel/spade, this one in an arbor he made for gardener/lamp-maker Jana Olson.
The next spade/shovel is a relatively new piece of tool sculpture on Monterey between Colusa and Sonoma, on the north side of the street.
So far I have three more tool photos but I suspect that there are more.
Is wheel handle of an outdoor faucet a tool? You debate. I am going to include it. I was struck by the whimsy of their use as lawn art and am struck by the photos that John Storey took of them:
Or this stream control valve in Jana Olson’s ravine:
Sculpture from tools:
Julie Partos Clark is the artist responsible for the movable-feast art installations on the south side of Webster just west of College. In the “Happy Birthday Superheroes” installation she give us some tools:
A few blocks west on Webster is a yard full of ceramics created by Samsel Ceramics. They are for another time and another place, but for here and now is this lovely little tool sculpture:
These next photos are – I know – a little of a cheat. In the window of the Helly Welly Lamp Shop is this tool sculpture, fashioned by Helen Holt from hand tools from her parents’ home.
And then even more cheating with these final two. They are from the home and garden of Keeyla Meadows, a garden artist. They are cheating because neither is visible from the street and they are cheating because she lives in Albany. A few houses into Albany. A mid block city limit line established by Codornices Creek. But they are good and deserve to be here – says me.
My friend wandered into my library as I was finishing the draft of this post. I showed him the photos and asked what he thought?
As is often the case, he thought a lot. He wondered when it was that we could no longer say “spade” in any context without sounding racist. Answer – probably in the 1970s. Certainly by the 1980s.
He bemoaned the lack of any giant tool signs in Berkeley.
He wondered why the iPhone photos are very good sometime and other times not so good. (Hint – I am the problem, not the iPhone camera).
We shot the bull a little about these issues and then I pinned him down – what about these photos of tools as decorative accessories?