I have been thinking about technology a lot lately. Merriam-Webster defines technology as useful things invented to solve problems. As a metalsmith and an artist, I love tools and am often amazed at how efficiently the simplest tool can solve a problem.

Recently, an old family friend was describing a slide-rule to my daughter. She could not understand the concept and did not have access to that technology. On the other hand, she showed him how her phone could be unlocked with her fingerprint. This technology was outside his realm as well.

This makes me ask if we are really solving problems well with our ever-more-complicated technologies? I have always believed that some of the most beautiful tools and designs are the simplest and most streamlined. Please note that I do not believe simple is not thoughtful. Quite the contrary.

I believe that some of my best designs are seemingly simple. However, they often take the longest time to develop and produce. Lately, I think I have gotten lost in a race of thought and my art has suffered. Maybe I need to slow down and simplify and think and see.

Below is a picture of my simplest tool: a garlic stone that I use to crush garlic when I cook. I found it by a stream in the woods. Isn’t it beautiful!