In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked three artists from around the country to tell us what they’re thankful for – more specifically, about the art tools they can’t live without. From spatulas to toothbrushes, we have to say we’re pretty surprised with what tools these artists have grown to love as essential part of their creative process. See what a ceramicist, a woodworking artist, and a painter have to say about their favorite tools this year:
Miro Chun of Miro Made This | Ceramic Artist
Miro Made This is a small, handmade ceramics company focused on minimalist, functional tableware.
The tool that Miro’s thankful for:
“I have one of those silicone spatula/spoons. It’s terrific for mixing glazes, because it lets me really get to all of glaze in the buckets, even in the corners. I have a collection of kitchen tools and containers—it seems to make sense to me, since my practice primarily focuses on tableware. It also makes sense of my time spent in kitchens. I love cooking and baking, and I spent the last two and a half years before I started my company working in a busy kitchen, baking and cooking. You can find things at restaurant supply stores that work really well in a ceramics studio—they are always sturdy, well-made, and utilitarian, with no extra frills or decorations. This makes them perfect for my use, and also my aesthetic, since I’m a functionalist at heart, and remind me every time I use them how important it is for aesthetics and function to work together in everything I make. It also reminds me to be thankful of all my experiences and all of the jobs I’ve had, because all those seemingly disparate parts of my life have made me what I am, and are a part of everything I make.”
Lisa Lewis of Light and Ink | Printer, woodworking artist
Lisa was born and raised in the northwest corner of Oregon and from her earliest years has been in love with the out of doors. Her art was inspired by the gift of a tree round from the walnut tree she climbed as a child. Printing the rings from this stump round was a way to preserve her sweet childhood memories. Creating prints from salvaged tree stumps is a natural extension of Lisa’s love for nature and design. She never tires from the thrill of revealing the beauty hidden within each tree section she recovers. Lisa currently resides at the base Utah’s majestic mountains where she is often found exploring the outdoors with her husband and three small children.
The tool that Lisa’s thankful for:
“One of my favorite tools and one that I didn’t expect to rely on so heavily is a hard bristled toothbrush. When I first started to print stumps I realized I needed something that could clean between the tree rings without damaging the surface of the stump itself. I decided upon a hard bristled toothbrush and have used one ever since. It is easy, affordable, and helps to uncover the details of each stump.”
Erika Astrid | Painter and photographer
Erika is an artist and photographer based in Portland, specializing in editorial fashion. She’s interested in the space where her photography meets the realm of abstract painting.
The tool that Erika’s thankful for:
“Traveling a lot, I realized that most of my tools are replaceable and that a lot of times I just use whatever is available, a hotel room notebook and pencil or random watercolors I find somewhere. But I cannot live without my ink pen, called Füller in German. I used one all throughout school in Germany where I grew up but forgot about it until I went back and bought a new one, and now I can’t part ways with it. It has a nostalgic place in my heart – and, of course, it’s an amazing tool for drawing and painting.”
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