Hands

I’ve always thought I’ve had too many wrinkles in my hands for my age. Deep lines cut through the meat of my palm, telling a mysterious narrative about my past and future; I can see my father’s wide, short palm and my mother’s narrow, long fingers. I’ve abused them in the past few years: letting oil paint soak into my skin, accidentally sanding off my nails, carelessly slicing through my fingertips, burning my knuckles on hot glass tools. As I learn the languages of materials through the sensation of touch, I feel my hands becoming tough like leather in order to bear this physical knowledge. The layers of skin hold memory in thick calluses, pale scars, strengthened muscles, and aching tendons. It’s a strange progression from soft, round, and clean to rough, chiseled, and dirty; hands must adapt to the labor of touch in order to endure the abuse. The craftsman is able to react to physical sensations with ease from a hypersensitivity to pressure, heat, weight, and form. The result is a confident and wise elegance.

What if you could touch everything in your life? From the sheep to sweater, seed to vegetable, and tree to home. A deep connection to the objects around you, for they would not be in the world if it weren’t for your two hands. Everything in your life would have an imprint of you inside of it, a pure and unique individuality. This fingerprint can be shared with others who in turn give something of their own creation to you. This is one of the oldest concepts of civilization; to dream of this today is completely idealist. However in today’s virtual, sterile, and untouching world there is a lesson to be learned from this primitive utopia. Touch is the most primal of the senses; without it we become completely disconnected from our bodies. A mindfulness of the sense of touch leads to an understanding of the origin of objects, and an awareness of the material things that surround you. I promote and encourage the act of touch in not only my art practice but my daily routine in order to come one step closer to truly feeling everything in my life.

 

Practicing the act of touching in the glass studio