Daniel Mack


A tool is a device for directing and holding energy...like the hammer directs energy onto the nail--. Tools are ways to interact in a directed way with the forces of the world around us.  We all have many more significant tasks than hammering nails, peeling potatoes, shredding cheese... There are personal and family tasks and crises which could benefit from the aid of a tool or device. So, in the presence of less mundane yet real tasks, what are we to do? 

The Imaginal Tool Series is based on the debatable assumption that a use for something will appear after that something is made. (What really came first, the hammer or the nail? ... And was there ever an Eden of Tools where the hammers and the nails lived peaceably together?) 

So, in some lightly altered state, I make objects which seem to have handles and heads, tops and bottoms. Their weight and size evoke "tool" as we hold them.  Our arm extends and moves in some new, no, old, no, new way. At very least we are curious, perhaps amused at this oddity and the ways it seems to make us respond.   At best, something old happens. We are reminded of other ways, other-ness.  Maybe there are "tasks" that need attention, that need the help of the tool.

The categories, or distinctions between the categories of "Tools", "Carvings", "Bark" are melting or blending. I've been making a tool-carving-"pocket sculpture" for a couple with an early cancer diagnosis.

Gifts often serve as such tools.

"I bought you this" or "This is for you."

Here the object serves to direct the energy and attention of the giver into the life of the reciever. 

I've started putting the tools into small 7" x 9" canvas pouches or tool wraps to encourage use, ownership, engagement:  Touch them; pick one; pick another;     Oops, it broke!    That Happens.

Older Pouches of Imaginal Tools

Tools for Remembering the Future

Imaginal Tool for a Friend in Hospice (10/6/09)

A Workshop in Imaginal Toolmaking

at the Woodlander Gatherings