Friday, February 26
Too many of my daily tools are overfitted. What could I be using that’s not designed by and for affluent Anglophone citydwellers pretty much like me? I want to be learning more from my gear. One of my favorite designers is a blacksmith, Jim Wester, who makes blades for woodworking. Carvers all over the world use his adzes and knives. As a lark, sometimes he makes cutlery, and I have one of his paring knives. It breaks all sorts of kitchen knife norms: it’s obviously not designed by a chef. You sharpen it at a shallow angle, because it has an idiosyncratic bevel; its handle expects a slightly different motion than you do; it’s tool steel, not stainless, so you have to worry about rust - and so on. It’s weird. And I expect to use it and love it until, many years from now, I wear it out. It cuts like a cartoon laser. Its weirdness comes from the hand and mind of a master, and it’s precious to me. My dream setup has more of that feeling.