Tools & Talismans #72 Lisa Anderson Shaffer

I come from a family obsessed with tools. We make our own tools, pass them down from generation to generation and use the hell out of them. My dad has tools that belonged to his great grandfather and I'm lucky enough to use some of the tools passed down from my grandfather and grandmother.

The wooden ruler belonged to my grandfather Kingston Anderson, or as he was known to me Fa. He was a Norwegian carpenter and could build pretty much anything. He taught my dad carpentry, who then taught me as I was growing up. The scissor set belonged to my grandmother Zelma Anderson, or as I called her Besta. Besta taught me to cross stitch when I was around 9. She loved needlepoint and when I was growing up and we would visit her in Florida I would sit on the sun porch with her, watch her sip a glass of scotch and work on her needlepoint.

The wooden crochet hook belongs to my mom, Lorraine Anderson. My mom used this hook to crochet a baby blanket for me when she was pregnant. When I was looking for just the right size hook to use on my Aerial fiber pieces, I just knew it would fit the bill. My mom gladly handed it over.

The overalls I have had since 1995. I bought them with my friend Chad from an Army Navy store in Easton PA. We were looking for smocks to wear in our printmaking studios, but I decided upon a pair of Oshkosh engineer overalls. I've worn these overalls to paint every single painting, develop every single photograph, and print every single print I have ever made. They tell the story of my career as a fine artist and are one of my most prized possessions. I still wear them on a weekly basis.

The horseshoe was found by my husband Matt on the property of our current house. We have found a horseshoe on the property of every home we have owned in California if you can believe that. He was stunned when he found it and I just love that whether it was North Beach, Noe Valley, or Fairfax, there has been a horseshoe waiting for us.

The antler was also found by my husband on our property. We have a family of deer that stay with us from spring through much of the summer. It has been incredible to watch them grow and change over the last few years. I imagine this antler was from a few generations back. We all feel very close to them like they are a part of the family.

The feather was found by my mom at a house we were all renting together in Marin 4 years ago. I love hawks and seem to always see them soaring overhead. The impact of the design and delicate nature of the feather always strikes me.

The note is from my daughter. She's 5 1/2 and the most illuminating presence in my life. I absolutely adore being her mom, watching her grow, and just being around her. She inspires me daily.

I am a fine artist.

You can find Lisa at her website Zelma Rose.