“When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

My wonderful friend, Anne, opened her home “up north” to her friends going to the gallery reception in Rhinelander.

However, there was a price: two spirited games of Hammerschlagen, a German party game that involves swinging hammers and flying nails and the very real potential for crushed fingers. It’s supposed to be a drinking game but with great age comes great wisdom (sometimes) and we all opted for sobriety.


Equipment is pretty simple: a hardwood log, a hammer with a round head and nails–I think these were masonry nails we were using. Whoever gets their nail head hammered flush into the log first is the winner.


But, rules! Hammerhead starts on the log, can’t raise hammer above your shoulder height, one stroke per turn, a (wait for it…) HAND FAULT if you grasp the hammer above the grip line. (This last rule was used to wrest the victory for game#1 from me. I’m not going to say “bogus,” but still…)



Often, it doesn’t matter how carefully you deliver your blow: you miss the nail altogether.


Note to Monday night’s players: whoever was swinging in shot #3 was cheating! That is clearly the flat head of the hammer, not the rounded side, which is required per the rules of Hammerschlagen.

***   ***   ***   ***

The opening reception for the Northern National at Nicolet College was absolutely top-shelf outstanding. I won no awards, but was gifted with the most wonderful friends who celebrated the evening with me. Some events stand out as lifetime golden and this was one of them.

The following is from juror James Pace’s curatorial statement:

The places we build often reveal our ambitions. Exhorting a powerful physiological response,  the works of Derozier and ______ present architectural spaces that exude strength. Reminding us of a modern version of a “Chartres nave” or a 20th century “Temple of Hera,” these places are the epitome of power.

By the end of the evening, your friend, Wabi Sabi, was nearly delirious from sugar overload (oh! what a fine dessert table) and riding a full-blown adrenaline high.

  1. Jeanne says:

    HUZZAH! Dear friend.

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Interesting game which I definitely would NOT want to play with any trace of alcohol in my system.
    Congratulations on the exhibition.

  3. Karen Taylor says:

    Glad you enjoyed your evening. The picture is beautiful. Sounds like you were definitely cheated out of winning the Hammerschlagen.

  4. Anne says:

    I believe there is a labyrinth in the Chartres nave suggesting perhaps the pilgrimage of Wabi Sabi. The Juror James Pace solidly nailed a reflection of your work that looks obvious now that he has called it out. I can hardly wait for next year and I won’t say one more word to give anything away.

    • Now that I can “see” just where you are sitting as you type, I want to reach right through the screen or the clouds and hug you. Thank you. (Will begin bridge pic reviews after my return from Minnesota.)

  5. Anne says:

    p.s. especially love the tags and and and the curried egg salad

  6. Seems someone up there was confused: peening hammers are for metal work; hammering nails with it seems to be sign of a perverse sense of dark humor. (What else do Rhinelanders do for amusement?)
    By the way, the person using that hammer in the third photo also showed some intelligence by trying to get the nail into a crack.
    And, I would agree with the curatorial remark.

    • Oh! That’s the challenge–imagine trying to strike the first blow just to get the nail started. Not much target area! (What else do they do for amusement? Hmmm…invade neighboring counties?)
      Thank you for your kind agreement with the juror–Anne claims he has called me out for my true intentions/motivations, even if I didn’t know myself.

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