Between Folds / Tools Catalogue

Material: Tools & Supplies Catalogue, Buck & Hickman Ltd; 1935
136 x 108cm.

Francisca’s Tools takes us back to when the pen trumped the camera. Illustrating each instrument and tool by hand was not then superfluous; immortalising these practical items in ink was as important as their making, sharing imperative to their success and sale – as the inverted shilling sign reminds us. Seeing the objects’ lines, curves and texture through the flick of a draftsman’s wrist celebrates their triumphs of design and practicality. Paying homage, each object is framed in folds; held as an individual work of art, rather than merely catalogued. In spreading such wonders before us, Tools reminds that we are not the only generation that had a gadget for everything. Humankind’s determination to ease a way of life spans decades; here with a pride that is striking through the personality of illustration.