Tools of the Trade: Part 3

If you’ve ever made, or built, or repaired something, you’ll know the importance of having the right tools to get the job done. So imagine their value to the craftsperson that spends much of their day making and creating things. The right tool can be priceless. We asked our makers to tell us about their favorite tool for a series we’re calling “Tools of the Trade”. Here is the third installment of their responses.

entrelanas designs

Ximena Bervejillo of entrelanas designs weaves scarves, cowls, shawls, ruanas, and ponchos in her Marin studio with wool yarn from her native Uruguay: “My rigid heddle loom is my most important tool. I love its simplicity and the fact that I can move it around and choose the best spot in the house to weave my pieces. I normally go to the sunny spot. This kind of loom is quite simple and easy to use. Nevertheless, it allows me to create with a lot of freedom and versatility. I have three different sizes 32″, 24″ and 10″, but the one I use the most is the 24″. In addition to the loom, two other super important tools are the threading needle and the markers. The threading needle is essential to warp the loom and the markers help me keep track of where I am in my weaving.”

View the entrelanas designs profile.

St. George Spirits

Founded in 1982, Alameda’s St. George Spirits is America’s original craft distillery. Over four decades at the vanguard of the American craft spirits revolution, St. George has been distilling exceptional artisanal spirits with integrity. President and Master Distiller Lance Winters and his team create world-class spirits including award-winning whiskeys, gins, vodkas, brandies, liqueurs, and absinthe: “My 30-liter Lab Still is the best. It’s small enough to be able to test out the craziest ideas without breaking the bank, and yet it’s large enough to produce distillates that give us an indication of what we’d get off our production stills. In the past, crabs, Christmas trees, and oyster shells have all run through it. Next up, a test to see how we can reduce water usage in whiskey production!”

Photos by Alex Zyuzikov

View the St. George Spirits profile.

Model No.

Oakland’s Model No. is a custom furnishings company driven by consumer needs and led by a devotion to technology, design and environmental responsibility. Their approach provides artfully crafted pieces that can be fully customized by consumers to fit their style, budget and home. Pieces are made with sustainably sourced materials and produced using the latest eco-friendly automated tech including 3D printing.

Co-founder and CTO Jeffrey McGrew: “3D printers are awesome tools in that they don’t care what you tell them to make. There’s little setup, jigs, fixtures, or templates; you simply load material, load your CAD file, and let it run. You can think of it as a sort of ‘robotic hot glue gun’ that builds up objects one thin layer at a time out of different types of resins. While there is a great deal of nuance and finesse in dialing in your printer and the materials you’re working with initially, once done you can easily make a chair today, a table tomorrow, a lamp the next day, etc. And you can even have them make it while you sleep, running them overnight, and one person can run multiple printers at the same time, just babysitting them making sure materials are stocked and removing finished prints.”

View the Model No. profile.

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