Friday, March 27, 2015

Emilie Brzezinski: The Lure of the Forest

Emilie Brzezinski is a world renowned artist, and a chain saw is her tool of choice. During the last two decades, her monumental wood sculptures have been featured in galleries and museums around the globe, and she creates all of them with a STIHL.



“When I’m sculpting I have a sense of freedom with my tools. As an artist, I have to discover how each trunk responds to my tools. It’s a very exciting process, and there’s no way I could do it without my STIHL chain saw.”

Lament
Born in 1932 in Geneva, Switzerland, Brzezinski immigrated to the United States and grew up in California where she first started carving by making small animals out of driftwood. 
She began a serious art career in the 1970s working with plastics, latex, and wood fiber. Her expressive themes always related to nature. Eventually, she focused entirely on monumental wood sculpture, using a chain saw and an axe to carve life into found wood.
Brzezinski says without a good chain saw, her work would be impossible. “My STIHL chain saws are very reliable. I know what I’m doing and the machine knows what it’s doing. The way I use the saw has changed over time as I went along. You never know what’s going to happen until it happens.”

We were honored to sponsor Emilie's display of her beautiful sculpture "Lament" at the Kreeger Museum in Washington D.C. 




Learn more about Emilie Brzezinski and her work at www.thelureoftheforest.com .
Read about her work in her book The Lure of the Forest: Sculpture 1979-2013.
Stay current with Emilie’s latest developments in her studio on “The Brzezinski Blog”.
You can also follow Emilie on Twitter @ebbtrees, and like her on Facebook.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Tips for Getting Your Tools Ready for Spring

Randy Scully, STIHL Inc.
Now is the time to wake up your STIHL equipment from its winter slumber.  These tips from Randy Scully, national service manager for STIHL Inc., will help you get the most out of your tools this season.

NOTE: For a comprehensive list of maintenance and repair instructions, refer to your product's instruction manual.

Top 10 Checklist:
A good place to start is to use the checklist on our website to get a good feel for the condition of your equipment before you use it.

You can also take your equipment to your local servicing dealer for a tune up. But be sure to visit early in the season to get a head start on all your handheld outdoor power equipment needs. To find a STIHL dealer, visit the  STIHL dealer locator.

Clean and Check:
  • Clean your equipment, if you did not do so before storing for winter.
  • Thoroughly inspect your equipment, including the safety features, to ensure all is working properly. For example: 
    • All products: visually inspect the complete machine; check the housings for cracks; and ensure proper operation of all controls.
    • Chain saws: check the hand guard and chain brake.
    • Trimmers: inspect deflectors
    • Edgers: check cutting guard
    • Hedge trimmers: inspect cutter blade guard
  • Retighten all accessible screws and nuts   
  • Replace the trimmer line on trimmers and brushcutters.   
    • Trimmer line dries out and older line will break more easily, so be sure to stock up for spring.
  • Inspect and sharpen, or replace, blades, as necessary, on all cutting tools and attachments, including hand tools, edgers, hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, etc., following the directions in the manufacturers' instruction manuals.
  • Check and change oil and oil filter in your lawn mower and other equipment, as required per manufacturer’s recommendation. 
  • Clean or replace the air filter according to manufacturer’s guidelines.

Keep it Fresh:
  • For gasoline-powered equipment, you'll also want to:
    • Start with fresh fuel. Old fuel can cause issues with the engine leading to problems running the equipment.
    • For STIHL equipment, we recommend you mix fresh 89+ octane fuel and STIHL HP Ultra mix oil at 50:1 ratio, but you should follow the specific instruction manual for each piece of equipment, whatever the brand or model. 
    • Try STIHL MotoMix® ethanol-free premixed fuel (w/a shelf life of up to two years once opened).
    • Dispose of old fuel properly (including fuel left in equipment over the winter) – ideally, you should have emptied the fuel tank before storing the equipment.
    • Replace the spark plugs after 100 operating hours (or as recommended in your instruction manual).
Keep it Fresh:
  •  For corded electric equipment:
    • Inspect all power cords. Do not use if damaged or insulation is cracked.
  • For battery equipment:
Protect Yourself:
  • Be sure you have the proper personal protective equipment for each of your products, as indicated in the instruction manual. 
    • Reduce the risk of injury with the latest protective equipment, whether it’s chaps, glasses, gloves, boots or helmet systems. 
    • If you already have protective apparel and equipment, be sure to inspect it thoroughly to make sure it meets the proper standards. For example: a cut in your chaps or crack in your helmet means it’s time for new gear.
Now you’re ready to keep your yard looking its best all season long! In addition to following these tips, always review your instruction manual at the start of a new season. These tips will not only help protect your equipment, but will help protect you, the operator, as well.  For more information on STIHL, visit http://www.stihlusa.com/

    Friday, March 13, 2015

    Fostering: It's a Dog's Life

    by Tom Dropik

    When you foster a dog you are helping save a life.  Fostering is giving a dog the time he/she needs to be ready for a forever home. K9 Rescue Shelters around the world are doing what they can to offer our furry friends a place to stay and provide them with the essentials they need to survive.  The problem is the Shelters have only so much room. Fostering is an AWESOME way to help our Shelters as well as prepare our friends for Adoption.



    If you are considering Fostering a dog, here are a few things I recommend you know

    5 things you show know when fostering a Dog:

    1 Adjustment Period – a Foster may not know what it’s like to live in a home with a family to help take care of them.  Be prepared to give the dog time to settle and adjust to their new surroundings. Take comfort in knowing their ‘Real’ personality will eventually come out.

    2 Food expenses – simply put, there’s another mouth to feed. This is a good discussion to have with the rescue organization to understand how much the Foster eats.  Some shetlers can even help with obtaining the required food.

    3 Medical requirements - it’s important to discuss the current medical condition of the dog and determine who pays for medical bills should they arise. It’s also a good idea to let your local vet know you are fostering.

    4 Time – be prepared to give your new friend some time. Whether they are the only dog in your home or an addition to your pack, be prepared to give the Foster the time they deserve.

    5 Adoption – ask the Shelter if it’s ok to adopt if you choose. It has been my experience that most shelters would be VERY Excited to hear that you’ll be sharing your home forever.


    Remi – a Foster Story – Fostering Remi and ultimately bringing Remi in to my home has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The rewards I experience with him on a daily basis are far more than what I expected and far more than what I can return to him. I truly believe he knows I saved him and will reward me for that for the rest of his life.

    -------------------------- 
    About Tom Dropik. Tom is a Performance Dog Enthusiast who travels the US and Canada competing and educating other enthusiasts. You can learn more about Tom and his ventures on Facebook at http://www.facebook/TeamSTIHL  or his SportMutt website at http://www.sportmutt.com






    Friday, March 6, 2015

    Selecting the best manual sprayer for your needs

    by Marv Mathwig, STIHL Inc. Product Manager


    From light misting of houseplants to spraying a tree farm with pesticides, sprayers are extremely important to keep plants alive, insects at bay, and disease under control. Manual sprayers are ideal options for occasional spraying and for tasks that require less power and capacity as a gasoline-powered backpack sprayer.

    While doing research on the products available, think about these questions:
    ·         How much spraying do you do a week/month?
    ·         What type of tasks are you looking to tackle?
    ·         What kind of liquid are you spraying?
    ·         How much area do you need to cover?

    With four additions to our sprayer line to choose from, there is a product for everyone.

    Handheld Sprayers

    Handheld sprayers are perfect for when you need to get up close and personal when spraying water, pesticides, or disease-controlling chemicals. Because they are small and lightweight, users can easily get into tight areas for precise spraying.

    The STIHL SG 11 manual handheld sprayer is great for occasional up-close spraying around the home, yard, or garden. With a 1.5-liter translucent tank, it remains light when filled and it’s easy to see when its time to refill.

    For larger jobs, the multipurpose STIHL SG 31 handheld sprayer is an excellent mid-range volume sprayer that makes it easy to work while walking. Its versatile features include a hollow cone brass nozzle, wand holder for secure storage and transport, and a pump handle that locks into place to act as a carrying handle.



    Backpack Sprayers


    More capacity means a heavier product, so when you are using a sprayer for larger areas and on a consistent basis, consider a backpack sprayer, which disperses product weight across the shoulders and back. This type of manual sprayer helps create quick work of jobs that cover greater acreage.

    Able to hold up to 12 liters, the STIHL SG 51 is appropriate for homeowners and hobby farmers, covering a large area, yet are still looking to keep things light when the tank is full.


    The STIHL SG 71 has the same great design as the SG 51 but holds six liters more. This model works with a steady stream and constant working pressure thanks to a pressurized fluid reservoir that is separate from the main tank. Both models include an adjustable brass hose nozzle allowing users to go from a mist to a stream with a quick turn of the nozzle. Additional features make both models easy to carry, transport, and store.