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bison tools - collette's experiment -

updated thu 27 dec 07


pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on wed 26 dec 07

Hi Collette,

I am sorry you had a disappointing or confusing experience..!

In a way, it is a little flattering, since the reputation and Virtue of my
Tools includes their being "Sharp" and quite durably sharp at that, and, you
demonstrated that in an unusual and dramatic experiment.

I cut my own fingers also now and then in mild just sort of
happens in the process of making and fitting them.

You need to understand, that the Loop you have there is not intended for
Trimming where the Clay is still 'wet' enough to be dragging, or sticking,
or clumping on the Loop.

These Loops are intended for Trimming far enough into Leather Hard, for the
Clay to slip sweetly through, and on, with narrow thin 'Ribbons' of
Trimmings being whirled off cleanly.

If there is any 'drag' or anything sticking to the Loop, the Clay is not
Leather Hard enough yet, and should be allowed to dry untill it is.

None of the Tools I make are intended for Trimming 'wet' Clay, ( even if the
smallest thinnest of them may do it tolerably well ) for which a Sharp Tool
is usually of little to no use or advantage, unless it were extremely
'thin', where really only the 'thin-ness' would matter and not the
sharpness, since the Clay will merely drag or stick to it if it is too
'wide' in section, and not slide past neatly. But as 'wet' Clay does not
really 'cut' anyway so much as push apart, hopefully with the 'peeling' not
instantly adhering itself behind the Tool, as it may if the Clay is even on
the 'wet' side of 'wet', usually one merely uses whatever sort of 'Wire
Shape' or other 'thin' section, which does not have to be sharp, but would
be 'narrow' for 'wet' Trimming Work.

Tools which are for Trimming Leather Hard, or far Leather Hard, have to be
"sharp" in order to 'cut' cleanly, and, to allow the Trimming to be clean,
fast, efficient, and pleasant.

Dull-Wide, or 'Wire' Tools will not work in Clay which is far enough into
Leather Hard, or will only work barely or poorly in the softer stages.

Many forms have to be Trimmed in some phase of Leather Hard, and some quite
'far' into it, and it is especially for those forms that these Tools are
intended...although any form which may be Trimmed in these Leather Hard
stages, may be Trimmed much more neatly, pleasantly and fast, than otherwise
Trimming it 'wet' would be.

Some designs are best Trimmed 'wet', or Trimmed loosely while wet, and
appropriate Tools for that can be elected from many other Makes, or made
easily at leisure out of common materials which are easily worked.

Please call or e-mail me sometime, and, I can walk you through some other
things about the little Loop and how to use it, which will be very nice for
your Trimming, now, and later.

If you are not making any forms now which would be better Trimmed in Leather
Hard, you may wish to make such forms have a Tool to do it,
already, whenever it may arise to be done.

Happy Holidays...

Best wishes,

Las Vegas

----- Original Message -----
From: "Collette Smith"

>I bought a Bison tool at NCECA and the first time I used it to trim as I
>was using my finger to clean out clay scraps it cut me. That was the end
>for me! Too sharp and dangerous. I have a small stash of dolan tools and
>when they run out I'll get the new Axner goovey tools. Hope some day Dolan
>comes back to us.
> Collette Smith