Wednesday, February 05, 2003

I get enjoyment from using well-crafted artefacts - they don't have to be old or have great value. I was delighted to be given a Mk1 Parker 51 fountain pen which became a design classic of its day - the 1950's. It belonged to a family friend who was an accountant and he must have used it during the latter part of his working life. I had it refurbished and a new nib fitted and now it is a joy to use.

When clearing my father's effects I discovered his pen knife in a shoe box, he always took a pride in it and I have no idea how long it had been lying unused in the box. The primary blade bears rhe makers mark, 'Wragg, Arundel.' There was no hint of rust and a little oil to free the blades and honing the cutting edges made it serviceable again. I use it daily to open letters and sharpen pencils in the studio.

For me these everyday artefacts give as much pleasure as handed down heirlooms which often take effort and expense to maintain and have to be insured.

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