Yes that's exactly what you think it is, a nail file!
It is today's most useful tool because I am putting the finishing touches on a new sculpture -- there is nothing more annoying than finishing a new sculpture in soft clay only to clumsily stab the poor thing with a finger nail.
Here's the new fellow I'm trying to avoid marring, "Thunder".
You're probably wondering about the different colors on him.
I sculpt in a variety of wax and non-hardening wax-based clay. The red areas, lower legs, ears and eyes are a red foundry wax that is quite hard. Not as hard as a jeweler's carving wax (though there is a bit of that at the tip of his right hind shoe), but the red wax doesn't get soft on a warm summer day.
The darker brown areas, upper legs and most of head are your basic victory brown foundry/sculpting wax. It's softer than the red, but will still hold tight detail better than a softer clay.
The lighter brown areas, the main torso, neck and jowl, are wax-based clay that's considered to be quite firm. In the winter it is. In the summer... not so much. For more info about clays and waxes, visit some of the suppliers listed in the resources section to the right.
"Thunder" has been spending much of the summer cozied up to the milk carton and iced tea pitcher on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator. Guests are always a bit surprised to see whole horses when they go for a tea refill!
Though he's not completely finished, Barry is going to make a waste mold of him this weekend, then cast a resin master of him for me to fine tune. So look for an update on how he gets trimmed out later!
A glorious summer sunrise was recently greeted by our sunflower sentinels.
These giants are so fun to grow, and will provide good snacks for Barry. That is, if he gets to the seeds before the squirrels and birds!
Nearby we planted popcorn, my favorite munchie. So of course we call this section of the yard the "snack aisle".
Every gardener knows what this means -- FEAST!
As well as peaceful afternoons simmering sauce to can or freeze. I may try canning this year -- there's a great sounding recipe in Barbara Kingsolver's new book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; a Year of Food Life".
What a great read, especially if you value fresh, local food.
As you see we're not big into lawns. Boise's is a high desert climate and I would much rather put a valuable resource like water to use growing colorful and yummy things. We do have a bit of lawn left for it does provide a cool green respite. But every year our garden areas get bigger! Soon, I'll be turning soil for a new veggie patch in a sunny spot out back.
We've also discovered the wonderful cooling effect of simply shading windows on the outside. Looks funny to neighbors, perhaps, but it sure helps keep things comfortable while we avoid using the air conditioner very much.
Wishing you all a peaceful close to this season of bounty ~ Lynn