Moon Unit II and a close call for my dentist drill

Posted: July 19, 2017 by Mo Crow in Braille for the Soul, It's Crow Time

this morning I cleaned the studio after a nerve wracking few days worrying that my Volvere 8 dentist drill was cactus
I bought this machine to engrave glass back in 1989, it is my favourite tool, it carves, engraves, grinds, polishes & can drill holes in most materials. It has become an extension of my hands but I nearly killed it trying to drill a hole in the lid of Moon Unit II.  The drill caught the edge of the synthetic interface lining the surface of the papier maché mold and seized…
I took it to the service department at Gunz Dental on Monday and waited nervously for 24 hours, it was like taking my best friend to the hospital only to find there was nothing wrong with it, I had accidentally flicked the forward switch to neutral in my panic…
here’s some process shots of Moon Unit II
the awl worked perfectly to make the holes for stitching the leather to the lid
the leather stretched well although controlling the edge of the stitched moon was tricky so I added a knotted piece of Perlé cotton
the 1.5mm round leather cord finishes the edge well
started stitching a spiral base with three different weights of black linen thread, the thick waxed thread which I thought would work is too coarse, will start again with some Gütermann black linen thread tomorrow & see if the branch hanging in the garden across the road will be good for the dreaming tree

  1. shemann says:

    so glad your machine works! your current project is a challenge, but I like challenges

  2. arlee says:

    It *is* sad when our favourite tool friends need help and hospital! (On the other hand when i saw the title, all i could think of was Frank Zappa’s daughter..:) 🙂 🙂 )

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Arlee))) Frank Zappa’s “Billy the Mountain” is still a favourite song!

      • Mike says:

        One of my favorite songs, too (but not not so much the parents on Christmas Day, as I recall)

        And “Hah!” to putting the switch in the wrong position and freaking out…

        …I do that kind of thing all the time!

  3. love this, about the drill….
    moon is so so fine

  4. Nancy says:

    Love seeing your tools and trying to picture you, in process! Such ingenuity and determination in your creative vision. Wonderful!

  5. A relief! Old tools that have worked so hard and mean so much . . . they are like living things, or least receptacles holding the memories of all their labour. I have two very old little hammers that belonged to my father. He used them when he was a window dresser as a young man. For a short while I thought the one with a leather bound handle to be lost but when I chanced upon it again . . . tears, connections, memories held in a hammer.

  6. fiberels says:

    Ahhhhh Mo, 😉 So good you only did the switch-thing wrong (lol)
    and nothing worse was wrong with you favorite machine tool !!!
    (hmmm … the Dutch word for awl is “els” ;-)) …)
    That branch is hanging up high …. be careful !

    (got no post yet …)

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Els))) that’s so cool that you’re an arty awl as well as a superb stitcher! we have a good ladder and a long handled pruner that can get that branch down, will try not to drop it on my head!
      PS Yvette’s pennant has just arrived in The Netherlands so x fingers yours & Martine’s will get there soon too!

  7. snicklefritzin43 says:

    what a good outcome to learn a simple switch had been moved on a favorite tool. Somehow those favorite tools become extensions of our arms and hands and when in use they do not feel separate from our being…old tools are my treasures..gifted replacements by well-meaning family and friends usually find their way to another studio…a creature of habit.
    This Moon project is wonderful to follow…seeing the small changes that make such a difference in the outcome. Moon love going on here.

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Kristin))) in those 24 hours waiting for the diagnosis I was trying to feel ok about buying a Dremel to replace the beloved drill but am so relieved it’s working fine, really hoping this drill will last my lifetime! Moon Unit I taught me so much, this one is working much better, it will open and have a retractable ladder (have always been fascinated by venetian blinds) then onto finishing Once in Blue Moon

  8. Oh, isn’t it amazing what feeling pressure from deadlines so often induces panic moments, and panic blinds us temporarily. Always a bad time to tackle tricky details or operate machinery of any kind. Thank goodness the tool is working and so too are you dear intricate ‘accomplisher’ – Onward.

  9. Margaret Johnson says:


    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Margaret))) am feeling so much better today, stitching the leather spiral of the dark side of Moon Unit II with the Gütermann black linen thread is working so well, much faster and sturdier than the 1mm

  10. phew indeed
    ( hasn’t Martine her pennant i thought yes)
    your MOON MO……

  11. jude says:

    tools are good friends.

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Jude))) and as irreplaceable, this one has helped to realize so many dreams. I sold my beautiful motorcycle, the silver Honda 250 trail bike of my dreams to buy this drill…

  12. Hazel says:

    Your moon is coming along bluetifully. You have SO MANY skills! I love how you love your drill, but I don’t think I could bear the sound, too many memories!

  13. ravenandsparrow says:

    What a relief to find that your beloved drill is still operable! Tools are so personal and powerful. Your blue moons are powerful too.

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Dana))) what a wild week, still recovering my sensibilities + trying to get my head together to give an artist book talk at the NSW Guild of Bookbinders about printing and binding editions this afternoon. I love that electric blue suede, Madeleine of Artsite Gallery just gave me some deep black suede from the same era and a very pink felted wool blanket which will be challenging to do anything with as I really don’t like pink, never have… will see where it takes me…

      • deemallon says:

        hope your talk went well! is something ‘going cactus’ meaning becoming useless? I’ve never heard that before. you remind me of how much I value my old, old Berninas AND the guy who repairs them.

        • Mo Crow says:

          (((Dee))) was hoping someone would notice the Aussie slang, if something is cactus it’s dead or useless. The talk went well with lots of questions and made for a lively discussion.

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