My Tools


Scissors, tweezers, paste, tape, that's it.

I do have many, many varieties of each of these, but I need nothing else to do my work.

SCISSORS: small, large, curved, straight, pinking shears, and plenty of variations on that theme, too, wiggly, scalloped, ad infinitum, all sharp.

TWEEZERS: short, long, pointy, curved, the doctor type, the dentist type, the stamp collector type, and yes, the eyebrow remover type, but I buy them new and I'm the only one who uses them. They also are all sharp.

PASTE: I try every kind of paste and glue that I ever find, but my favorite and the very best is the Japanese household variety called nori (which also means noodles in Japanese). It's made of rice and water. It's non-toxic, washable, archivally sound, and best of all, even weeks after pasting something down it is possible to rehydrate the papers with a warm, wet cloth. After the papers are saturated I can remove them safely, layer by layer, with my sharpest, pointiest tweezers. This permits editing. Nori is available in most convenience stores in Japan, and in some Japanese groceries in New York.

DOUBLE-SIDED REPOSITIONAL TAPE: I only use one kind because it's the best and no others work. I've tried them all. I have to order this tape from England. It's outrageously expensive, and worth every pound. It sticks, and, I can change my mind, and then, it sticks again. I love the tape and I depend upon it.