Sometimes the simplest things are the most exquisite. Blacksmith and metal artisan Tuli Fisher makes garden tools. It sounds ordinary, but what makes the tools special are his commitment to a lost craft and the quality of his creations.
Tuli forges each trowel, rake, and hoe by hand in his Bozeman, Montana, workshop with domestically sourced materials. He uses traditional blacksmithing methods to heat, shape, and hammer the iron, and he hand-turns the hardwood handles. His artistry is evident in the details. Tuli bends the side tines below the ferrule on his hand rake to create a fleur de lis shape, for example. The curved shape of the pointed hoe makes it a hardy, versatile tool with a leaf-like profile, and the narrow trowel has teeth on one side to maneuver around roots and dig through hard soil.
Tuli’s labor of love combines his blacksmithing expertise and studies of traditional tool-making. His foray into garden tools started when a neighboring farmer trudged through the snow to ask Tuli to repair some tools. After fixing the tools and making even better ones, Tuli found his new passion.
It takes Tuli a lot longer to make each tool by hand than it would with conventional manufacturing methods, but the payoff is worth it. Garden enthusiasts (like Tuli himself) can really feel the difference.