Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Cut Myself!

I get asked every once in a while if I have ever cut myself carving a wood block. Until yesterday,my answer was no, I hadn't really cut myself. When I teach classes, the first thing I say about carving is to never place your hand in the path of the tool. If the tool slips, you will most likely cut yourself. Thankfully, I've had only a few students cut themselves, and nothing so bad that an adhesive bandage couldn't fix. I've met several people who have shown me little "C" shaped scars on their left hand from a slipped tool cutting them. One story was from a guy that said he was in the back of math class carving his block when he cut himself, and had to go see the school nurse.

Yesterday I started carving the wood block for my 2010 calendar. My tools were a little dull - Which by the way, dull tools are more dangerous than sharp ones, because they slip, and need more force to cut through the wood. I also teach students to constantly turn the block, rather than twist your body into a contorted position to cut. Well, I broke all of my own rules, and was cutting sideways with a dull tool, and it slipped into my left middle finger. I didn't really even bleed, but it was a good reminder to be safe, and use the tools properly. So now when people ask me if I've cut myself, I can say, only once.

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