Monday, April 14, 2008
A Jewel of a Tool
In my last entry, I mentioned a hook with interchangeable heads. I want to share the story of the fabulous one I own, pictured here.
I purchased this hook a couple of years ago at the OHCG Annual. One of the vendors had a few for sale, each one a different wood, a different stone. Like a display of hand-crafted pens, these hooks were waiting for their future owners to find them. And I chose mine easily amid the bunch. From the moment I held it in my hand, I knew it was the ONE. The bonus was that it came with two heads which could easily be interchanged depending on the project needs. They simply screwed in and out.
This hook is the work of art of a gifted artisan - a couple actually. The handle is hand-turned. The beautiful bead on the top is hand blown. And the hooks are crafted by hand as well. The woman who turns the handles and blows the beads for these beauties is Molly Colegrove. Her husband creates the hooks and metal receptacles. What an evolution from the pioneers’ horse shoe nail in a piece of broom handle.
When I mentioned at a workshop at Rittermere that I wasn’t using my hook because I found the shank (I hope that’s the right term) a bit too short to pick up the wool, both Bea and Andrea told me to get in touch with Molly. They said that she would want to know about my dilemma. And that she would do whatever it took to help me. They were right.
She offered to exchange the tips for whatever length I would like. All I had to do was send the originals back, figure out what length I wanted instead, and she would send me new ones. So, I settled on a length and put my originals in a padded envelope and sent them on their merry way.
Molly and I exchanged several emails, since I wasn’t sure that with all the postage scrutiny they would arrive safely. I told her when I was sending them from my end. She told me when they arrived. She sent a note when the replacements were in the mail and they made their way back - passing through two postal systems again.
There was just one hurdle to overcome in this whole exchange. I had to figure out how to give Molly $1 for return postage. I couldn’t send a loonie. She wouldn’t want that. She couldn’t use Canadian stamps and I couldn’t buy US stamps. A money order for a dollar seemed a rather silly notion. So, I did exactly what you aren’t supposed to do and folded a US dollar bill into the envelope. It survived the journey as well.
So I now have a fabulous hook where function has met form. This beauty now “hooks as good as it looks”. (Excuse the bad grammar, I couldn’t resist.)
And I have a new e-pal in Molly. I hope we get to meet each other someday. If not, I’ll continue to sing her praises and show off my hook whenever possible.