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Anne Staecy

The Story behind "The History of My Father's Tools"

I have been fortunate to be born into a family with a rich history of invention, craftsmanship, and creativity -- primarily focused on wooden boat building. 

My dad, Edward Thomas (Ted) Gordon, passed away in 1985, leaving me a chest of the family tools that had been used in the construction of these wooden boats. As with many things, the tools lived in the basement of the family home for years.

After much pondering, years of planning, and, yes, procrastination, I started the project of reproducing many of these tools in clay; I am a ceramic artist.

The project was initially known as "My Father's Tools." I spent hours hand-building each tool to replicate the shapes and patinas produced by years of hand oil, abuse, and loving care. This resulted in a prize-winning exhibit.

Like many projects, this effort morphed into something much larger. I started to think about the people who used these tools, which led me to research the history of the Gordons from 1850 through the 1980s. 

The clay replicas you see here are part of the “My Fathers Tools” installation. For more information on that research and images of the tools please visit my website: - My Fathers Tools.

The initial display of the exhibit was at the Boyd Museum in Bobcaygeon, Ontario Canada  August 2023.

Artwork Collection

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