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Rubber Mallet $5.95 and Tangerines

Mallet and Tangerines, watercolor & graphite
Mallet and Tangerines, watercolor & graphite

After a lifetime of not even knowing rubber mallets existed outside of cartoons, twice in the past year while working on projects I read directions to “tap with a rubber mallet.” I thought to myself, “Who has a rubber mallet? Not me.” And then used a regular hammer which didn’t work out too well to put it mildly.

So when I was shopping for bookbinding supplies at my local Dick Blick art store and I saw a rubber mallet sitting on a nearby shelf for only $5.95 I couldn’t resist. It was just so funny looking. I have no idea why they were selling it at Blick’s and what artists would be using it for, or how it could sell for less than a toilet plunger at the hardware store.

So I found a good use for it in the studio—as a still life subject—and it fits right in, don’t you think? Tangerines, rubber mallets, why not? Maybe my next still life will be of smashed fruit and a juicy mallet. But that will have to wait for a sunny day. No way I’m smashing fruit in the studio. It’s messy enough as it is.

Meanwhile I thought I’d check out what rubber mallets are really for and I found this on‘s Home Renovation tools page:

“Admittedly, the rubber mallet is not the first thing on your tool list. But once you have a rubber mallet, you begin to discover many uses. Here are some common uses:

  • For ceramic tile, it helps gently tap tile into place.
  • Laminate flooring: great for this brittle material.
  • Tap carpeting onto tacking strips.
  • A “sounding device” if you need to hear what is behind a wall or in a pipe.
  • PVC pipe work.
  • Two tight-fitting sections of drywall.”

I can’t help picturing cartoon versions of each of these uses, especially with me behind the mallet accidentally tapping something into smithereens. And how funny is it that my blog’s spell checker thinks “smithereens” is spelled correctly but that the word “blog’s” is not.