Last week Megan Wilson from Ancient Industries mentioned me in her blog, which is quite an honor for me, as I've been enjoying her blog for some time now. Ancient Industries (also a shop) is skillfully crafted, visually and verbally: a few images, and one or two pithy, often humorous sentences which capture some living or extinct human activity. This has put a new sparkle in my weekend doings ...
This sickle has been my best gardening friend for the past 10 years, and I couldn't do without it. Like all timeless tools, it's exceptionally useful and efficient, though fewer and fewer people use it.
It's light, portable and versatile. Its main use is cutting grass, and it comes in very handy in places where we can't use our push mower - and we got by with the sickle alone until two years ago! Once the grass is cut, the sickle's curved blade is ideal for gathering it together and carrying it in bundles. The sickle is also great for cutting brambles, and its point is perfect for uprooting stubborn weeds.
In our village, it's the quintessential female tool, and the women always have a sickle with them when they head off into the fields. They use sickles to cut fodder for the farm animals that they're tending, and to keep the fields and woods clear of invasive weeds. I've never seen a man use it - their tool is the hoe. I learned from my neighbors how to use it and keep it sharp. Having mastered the female art of the sickle always makes me feel rather ... anciently industrious!
This timeless tool has been celebrated by our artist friend Nicolo' Accame in his sculptures, in ways that accentuate its spectacular form.