|By: Richard Hart
If I said "imagine an axe, knife, or a chisel", you probably could conjure up an image of what those things are, and perhaps how they are used. Whither your mind "sees" those things as a piece of art however, very much depends on your imagination, and willingness to accept in fact that those things could be - valuable "works of art".
This, and several other issues were faced by the John Neeman Tool Company, as they began their quest for the world to have a vision of their handiwork (art) and capabilities. They hand manufactured steel "tools" - and woodworking tools at that, to make the matter just slightly more complicated. Not many of us are true wood workers anymore, so even with the encyclopedic knowledge of their industry, the John Neeman Tool Company had a problem of herculean proportion - if in fact, they were going to be recognizable by a weary world of prospective wood working hand tool buyers.
They procured a website to market their fabulous wares, and began the task of attempting to "keyword" their way to success - with predictably slow success and difficulty. (Try getting seen on Google with a keyword like "axe", "knife", or "chisel"!). So early on, it became apparent that another marketing remedy was going to be required to be anything more than another "blip" on the tool radar screen.
The amazing strategy they concocted was to marry the visual art of the process of the forging of their product, combined with music that conveyed a longing for things that the soul required. Of course, nothing conveyed that better than web video, and they produced their work very much in the spirit of a music video.
As the artistry of the video is consumed by the watching public, so too the name recognition and capacity of the John Neeman Tool Company grows. It is a symbiotic relationship - and the watching world gets to see the fruit. The wood working tool world now has a viable new vendor, and a love relationship has started with all of us who appreciate a hand made tool, that can be passed from generation to generation with love and respect.
In the words of the John Neeman Tool Company:
"We are a small crew of skilled craftsmen from Latvia who use our heritage of craftsmanship handed down through many generations to design and create woodworking tools and knives. Our process, our method and mission keep these traditions and crafts alive and well. In this high-tech age, our own traditional craftsmanship is flourishing. Our company was founded and all the tools designed by Jacob, a carpenter, with a love for traditional woodworking together with his close friend - a local village bladesmith, that has deep knowledge in historical blades and techniques.
We use our hands to produce tools that will live on, telling their story in the hands of the craftsmen after us. Each tool we make is born with energy and personality – a love and care that will be felt daily by each craftsman; a resonance from the heart of the tool. Towering factories and belching chimneys are not our game. All of our tools are made in our small traditional workshops, using equally traditional methods and techniques. Our focus is on uniqueness and quality, not quantity.
We want to help people to remember how to use their hands, to relate their own human energy to their tools – to achieve the true joy of creating something from humble beginnings, as we did. Our traditions of blacksmithing and woodworking walk step by step together. We are uniting our history, traditions and craftsmanship in one ancient craft - tool making. "
Visit the world of the John Neeman Tool Company