This fall I asked my Dad and brother to make me one of these:
A point presser/clapper is an important pressing tool, to help ensure crisp collar points and perfectly pressed seams. They are made of unfinished hardwood, so the steam from the iron penetrates deep into the fabric. Beautiful pressing can take a sewing project from so-so to professional looking. Since I want one of these for my sewing room, and my Dad does beautiful woodworking, I asked him to make me one. Dad and my brother spend time to together every Tuesday evening, doing various wood and metalwork projects in Dad's shop. Also my Dad has been battling multiple cancers for several years, and the thought of having something he made for me that I will handle every day in my shop for many years......you understand.
I will be receiving my clapper in the mail soon, and my Dad emailed me to tell me that it was nearly done. He also told me the history of the wood he used, how it came from a desk used in the old Nanaimo post office (which was replaced by the new post office in the 1960's). So the wood is over 100 years old. I get a tool made by my Dad's hands, and a piece of Nanaimo history all at once. How amazing is that?!
A day or so after receiving the email, I thought about how my Dad wanted me to know the story of the wood he used. I completely understand this, as I remember when and I where I bought all of the pieces of fabric, buttons, and trims I use in sewing projects. Especially when the materials are from old garments or vintage finds from a thrift store, the provenance of the materials is important to me. Their story becomes part of the garment's story.
My birthday was this week, and my daughter brought me a wreath and a pen holder that she made for my sewing room:
She told me the story of how she designed and made them, the design problems along the way, and how she solved those problems. So, I was given a second gift - not just the objects, but also the stories behind them.
My Dad, me, my kids. We understand that the craftsman has a story to tell, and whether it's a designer dress or the wooden tool that helped in the making of the dress; the craftsman's story is a part of what makes it beautiful.