Friday, June 23, 2006

Beautiful tools

I have always loved beautifully made tools -- perhaps the legacy of being the daughter of a dyed-in-the-wool do-it-yourselfer and hardware store owner.

When Dan's mom and dad recently moved, and we went to NY to help,
among the many items Dan's mom sent home to Maine with us were these gorgeous dibbles Dan's grandfather made.

Louis Milliot was a civil engineer in New York who worked on, among other things, the construction of FDR Drive in Manhattan. His father, Dan's great grandfather, owned a florist and nursery business in Yonkers --Dan's gardening genes go back several generations.

Louis carved the dibbles from roots or branches.
I don't know what kind or kinds of wood he used, the wood is quite hard. He cleverly shaped them to use their natural details to enhance his carving. If you look closely at the dibble to the left, you can see a knot which looks like an eye in a bird's head. The marks on the beak are lines placed 1/2 inch apart, used to gauge planting depth. I love the striped handle of the dibble to the right. On others he left the bark on, perhaps to give the handle a better grip. One dibble was clearly used a great deal, and even to me, feels just right in the hand.

It was hot and muggy here today, and after dinner, I sat on the deck overlooking the garden and cleaned them up, then r
ubbed a little block oil into them. Aren't they beautiful?

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