Melanie Faith – Six Photographs

Tools of the Trade: Triangle Study

Tools of the Trade: Stonemason’s Chisel

Tools of the Trade: Chisel


Tools of the Trade: Bucket of Handles, Hacksaw and Hammers


Tools of the Trade: Black Diamond File


Tools of the Trade: Hammer Head


Artist’s Statement on Beauty

Some of the most intriguing beauty is that which elevates or shows a different side to everyday or useful subjects. Sometimes, just an angle, a hue, a shape, or a texture when placing the subject near something else can bring a beauty that resonates not only with the eye but with the heart and mind as well. The thought or intuition behind the composition can influence the viewer’s connection to the photo in an ineffable yet important way. The viewer can sense the artist’s curiosity, questioning or fear, compassion, wonder, and excitement based on what the artist chose to include (or exclude) in the work.

The art of creating an image for oneself first and viewers secondly is itself a kind of beauty– bringing us both closer to our best selves and further away from the commonplace into a timeless space of renewal and creation, very similar to children at play. This photo series consists of tools that my dad uses regularly as a mason. They are both utilitarian and profound, connecting his toil and vision to that of people throughout time who have been builders. The tools are not only a metaphor for the way he makes buildings an art form but for my own ongoing work with words and imagery. We are both makers, crafting something from basic yet resonant tools. There is deep meaning in creating something that others will reside in, whether metaphorically and for a short time or in a long-term, tangible form.


Melanie Faith is an online writing instructor and a tutor at a boarding school in Pennsylvania. Her photography was recently featured in the Birmingham Arts Journal (Spring 2016), Cargo Literary Journal (June 2016), and Sandy River Review‘s Fall 2015 issue. She enjoys collecting quotes, books, and shoes; learning about still-life photography and the Tiny-House movement; and spending time with her darling nieces.