Eesti Elu
Luiskama – to sharpen with a luisk and to fib
Meelejahutus 28 Oct 2011  Eesti Elu
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Luisk is a fantastic name for a witty designer. It means sharpening stone, water stone or whetstone, used to grind and hone the edges of steel tools and implements. It turns out that although it's sometimes mistaken as a reference to the water often used to lubricate such stones, "whetstone" is a compound word formed from the word "whet," which means to sharpen a blade, not "wet". The process of using a sharpening stone (luisk) is called stoning (luiskamine, luisuga teritamine).

But in Estonian luiskamine also means to tell a small lie, a fib. To make up something or fantasize, is how the EKSS Dictionary of the Estonian language defines it. (Type EKSS in your internet search engine to check definitions. But NB, it's all in Estonian.) "Kas ta räägib tõtt või luiskab?" Is s/he telling the truth or fibbing?

The word luisk sounds sleek. And cool. Maybe because it rhymes with tuisk – blowing snow, snow squall. Yet there's no denying a sharpening stone and the blade it meets are a sleek match. The sound of a scythe being stoned was the backdrop for Tarmo Luisk's latest exhibition of recent design items. It came from a video screen projecting the ritual. Tiny pendulum-scythes were also hanging from jet-black clocks. (Aeg on vikatimees – Time is the Grim Reaper or "Scythe Man" in Estonian.)

Tarmo Luisk got his inspiration for the exhibition from the fears which haunt us and from different taboo topics, thus the title "Mängud tulega" / "Games with Fire" or playing with fire. (In Estonian light and also a source of light / light fixture or lamp is tuli as well.) One reason I was intent on seeing the exhibition was the õllekapad (beer tankards) I had seen highlighted in the media that are made of recycled metal cans (canned tomatoes meets a decorated wooden handle and top.) "Pieces of art that can be put to practical use, but are not suitable for mass production," is how the gems on display were described.

Luisk is one of three men who make up Keha 3 ("Body 3"), an industrial / product (toote) design team who work with architects to transform public spaces indoors and out. They are behind the lit benches and pipe streetlights in the regenerated Rotermanni district flanking Tallinn harbour.
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