Tools have always played an important role in my life. Whether I was in my dad's workshop or my grandfather's garage, I always had a fascination with tools. As a child, my father encouraged me to explore the use of different tools in his woodshop. As he showed me how to use them, I became the next generation to learn the skills of a craftsman. In the past few years, I have been handed down tools from both sides of my family. Most of these tools are from my father and grandfathers, although some are from my great grandfather. The history of these tools shows through the wear patterns that have emerged over the generations. The tools are extensions of my father, grandfathers and great-grandfather's hands- a lineage that I have become a part of when I use these tools. To me, these tools have become much more than their original intention because of their connection to my family history. Therefore I created reliquaries for these tools. Historically, reliquaries contain bones of a holy person or objects touched by that person, and often mimic the relic it enshrines. These are claimed to posses the power and soul of that person through the relic inside. The containers that I created are castings of the objects the tools were used to repair. Inside these containers are the actual items handed down to me. This approach provides context for a narrative between the tool, reliquary, and my family history.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Metal sculpture--Themes, motives; Metal sculpture--Technique; Tools in art; Reliquaries in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Fine Arts Studio (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Howe, Liz

Advisor/Committee Member

Bushnell, Eileen


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: NB1220 .N49 2009


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