Dints from decades of hammering


carver's dummy mallet

As long as I can remember I’ve had this little mallet for stone carving, though the exact date it came into my tool family escapes me.  It is at least ten years old, probably twenty!  It has absorbed an impressive collection of taps, beats and strikes.

The ash handle supports a head made from malleable iron, which has become dented through use in a gloriously subtle way.  Tiny, gentle craters (a hammered finish is a beautiful thing!) now inform where on the surface, and how I work the chisel.

I noticed a significant dimple appearing on one side, and made conscious efforts to rotate the mallet while carving, so the concave didn’t become deeper.  The mallet weight and balance fall a certain way and while working I’m concentrating on my carving, holding the mallet instinctively, and so it dimples where it will, while my thoughts are elsewhere.  I’m intrigued though, that it should appear in just one place.

Worn stone carving mallet from many years of use






  1. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    fits your hand most comfortably in one position I guess.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      I suppose it must do – it is a very comfortable mallet

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