Sunday, October 18, 2009

4. Three Considerations for Faster, Easier Coiling Post 4.

Previously, we began to look at #2, Tools.

Thanks to Annejala for leaving a comment about sewing needles.

Continuing in this thread…

Pliers. Most coilers find it beneficial to have a set of needle-nosed pliers handy to pull through a difficult stitch. I highly recommend this as backup. However, there are other finger aids that can be worn that most of the time work as well as pliers; and because you do not have to put them down and pick them up, they are faster, too. As with any tool that is worn, it takes a little time to become used to using them.

The Skin Thimble, is a leather thimble reinforced with a steel disk in the pad. It is like having a coin inside a soft leather case. The thimble is used to push the needle through the coil. I specifically like the Skin Thumble, which is worn on the thumb. A thumble allows me to actually push the needle, instead of having to grasp and pull in all the time. Much easier on the fingers, as well as faster!

If you don't want to buy a Skin Thumble, you can make your own leather thimble, thanks to KJ Hartsog and Kathy Awbery , Pine Needle Group Members, who have posted DIY thimble information online. Click on their names for their pages to load. I have also seen thimble made simply of taped paper towels... Whatever works for you!

Another tool I consider a must-have is a Needle Grabber. Pamela Zimmerman’s Needle Grabber is a series of rubber tubes that fit on the ends of the fingers of the coiling hand. They are available in several sizes, and can be worn on the index finger and/or thumb. These allow for ease of gripping, and are so comfortable for many people they forget they are wearing them. (Needle Grabber Duo at left.)

I mix them up, usually wearing the smallest grabber on my index finger, and the Skin Thumble on my thumb. Others have told me of cutting the finger portions off of rubber or latex gloves, or using the little finger cots sold for first aid protection; or the banker’s fingers sold in office supply stores.

Some people find they need more support in order to coil. Many people use gloves, either to keep their wrists straight, or or provide support to the fingers, or to protect their skin. (That's Toni Best, coiler extraordinnaire, coiling the famous California Gourd Society's Traveling Gourd, at right, with her gloves on!)

Next, we will continue with tools.

I would love to hear about favorite grasping tools, and what you use to support your hands please leave a positive comment here for everyone to read!

Thanks very much to those of you who have recently looked at and purchased pottery basket bases in my MakeABasket shop on etsy...i have more bases coming, please bear with me, it takes time to photograph and list them.

1 comment:

Annejala said...

I am so new to coiling and I have never been introduced to some of these tools. I really like the needle grabbers you discussed that you designed. I am glad you offer different alternatives that do the same thing..example: needle grabbers, cut off rubber glove fingers, or banker's fingers. I thought it was great that you showed the thumble you can buy or using the pattern provided by members of the Pine Needle Group to make your own out of leather! I might try my hand at making one. I am really enjoying your series. Thanks again! Annejala