Monday, November 01, 2010

Bonnie Pierce Cama Bullion Hook and Jimbo sculptured Cama Hooks

While at the CLF (Crochet Liberation Front) Retreat recently on Camano Island WA, several of us decided to do a little fund raiser for the next retreat. Bonnie Pierce was kind enough to offer help. Bonnie is famous in the crochet world and has often been known as the Queen of Bullions. If you crochet, you've probably run across Bonnie's books. She's just a HUGE talent and a genuinely nice person. Bonnie and I have collaborated on a bullion hook design that makes use of bamboo chopsticks for a rectangular cross sectional shape and a bullion specific hook head. Not that you can't crochet with the hook (it's about a K, sizewise) but bullions with this hook should be a breeze.
The hook bears Bonnie's signature and comes with a bullion piece done by Bonnie with one of these hooks.
I'll auction this hook off and donate 100% of the proceeds to the next CLF retreat. Lets run this auction till 10pm (Pacific Time) next Wednesday, November 10.

To new bidders: I try to post bids as they come in. I'll not be here ALL the time... so if your bid doesn't show up right away, not to worry. Your bid will be posted as soon as I'm able to get to them. Identical bids are entered by first bid posted, so if your bid is the same as another, I'll go by which ever one mailed. Also please increase bids by $5 minimum. email bids, if you like, to me at

And if you don't win this auction, don't despair. I have more Bonnie signed hooks and a couple more of her exemplary bullions too for later auctions designed to help with funding another retreat.

Carol's in first with $10.00
Delma (one of my EXCELLENT hook whittling students at Camp Cama) goes $20
Jacqui bids $30 all the way from Australia!


Now to the other hooks. These are all made from wood donated by the Madrona Trees on or about Cama State Park on Camano Island, Washington and were made to commemorate the CLF retreat there. And there's a story here. I acquired two or three VERY dead, cracked and gray Madrona branches just as I was getting on the shuttle to leave for home at the end of the retreat. I first looked at the branches and wondered if anything at all could be done with them; they were so deeply cracked and weather beaten. But I tossed them in the back of my truck and they travelled with me back across the state to my shop where they languished a few days. Then it occurred to me, why not do some hook-like sculptural pieces and make use of that gray cracked rustic beauty? So I did and boy am I happy I kept that wood.

I've often tried to leave part of the wood surface on rustic hooks to speak for the character of the parent tree. The Puget Sound weather had aged this wood beautifully and to not leave at least a little of that natural patina would be a shame so I did, at least in the four hook sculptural pieces at the top of the photo. And the grain under the weathered exterior is just amazingly beautiful. So I tried to make a gentle transition from weathered branch... to finished wood... to useful tool. The idea was to have the pieces stand as if growing from the support surface, and have the hook shapes visually emerge upwardly as if growing from the wood.

Prices of standing sculptural hooks, left to right:

#1: This piece has the most exposed gray cracked wood..and even some lichen. It stands about 8 inches tall. Its not intended to be a fully functional hook, but if you've a mind to use it for crochet, it could be used as an approximate "L". It's signed on the bottom "Jimbo CAMA 2010".
Price: $45*

#2: Just to the right. The grain in this one stands like a twisting candle flame. There's even what looks to be a charred surface near the base. Beautiful grain, with a tapering head and neck done so as not to interrupt the flow. This one stands 8 1/2 inches tall. I think this hook, though balance might be a bit off, would work well for freeform work. It'd certainly inspire organic freeform.
Price: $45* SOLD

#3 My very favorite of the group because the base so closely resembles tree roots that you have to look twice to see that it's not growing out of what ever it's standing on. And this one is a fully functional hook, sized as a K (6.5mm) and it's 8 3/8 inches tall. Amazing grain direction and color. Signed on the bottom "Jimbo CAMA 2010 K.
Price: $75* SOLD

#4 (far right) Another very functional sculptural hook from the thought-to-be useless branch. This one is an I (5.5mm) and when it isn't making you beautiful crocheted pieces, it can stand proudly on a shelf showing off its beautiful grain and color. A little shorter, this one stands 7 3/8 inches tall. Signed on base: CAMA 2010 Jimbo I.
Price: $50* SOLD

The two hooks between the standing hooks and Bonnie's bullion hook are a bit more traditional, as far as Jimbo hooks are traditional. The bottom hook (one up from the Bonnie Pierce Bullion hook)was made from a gnarly piece of Madrona that I had set out as a joke for my carving students to select from amongst the easier carving wood blanks I'd brought for them to pick from. But the wood intrigued me, and curiosity overcame my sensibilities (not unusual for me), so I brought it home and put it on my lathe. You see the results. Swirling grain and various colors were a beautiful surprise. Actually that the piece of wood resulted in a hook AT ALL was even more of a surprise. And because its an artsy kind of hook, I made it a dedicated freeform hook. The hook tapers from the head all the way along the shank, so you can make tight loops near the hook head or large loops near the finger grip area.. freeform. There's a dark spot that I left along the finger grip area to show a bit of that heavily, dark gnarly surface. Signed "Jimbo CAMA 2010". Lets call this hook #5. Price: $40*SOLD

Just above the tapered hook and just below the standing hooks is a hook with a bit more standard madrona coloration. This piece of Madrona was rescued from the firewood pile behind the Center for Wooden Boats shop where I taught hook carving. Its a nice honey color with tracks form wood eating bugs (that I filled). I left my tracks too. The hook is signed "Jimbo I CAMA 2010". It's an I (5.5mm) amd is 7 - 7/8inches long. Lets call this one hook #6.
Price: $25* SOLD

There you have the Cama inspired hook collection!
More "ordinary" Jimbo hooks to come....

And thanks for stopping by!

* to buy any of these hooks, just email me at the address link given above and we'll discuss arrangements.

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