from my the house across the street

live, love, laugh, and remember to play everyday!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Studio Friday: My Work Hands

This week's topic for Friday April 14th suggested by andrea: MY WORK HANDS. These days, making art more often than not consists of doing something on the computer, cutting and pasting.

One of the first things I notice about a person is their hands. Somehow, their hands tell me if they can be trusted, if I want to let them get close to me or if I need to keep my distance. Their hands tell me if they are gentle people, if they are comfortable with themselves, if they are confident.

I come from a family of people who work with their hands. My mother is a nurse. She carries medicines, bathes and comforts children on the Pediatrics floor. She is also a needleworker........knitting, quilting, embroidery, sewing. My father worked in a factory all his life as a machine operator, flipping switches, turning gears, drilling holes, grinding metal. He is also a woodworker, building doll furniture, baby cradles, tables, footstools, chairs, sofas, bookcases. His hands are rough and weathered, scarred and calloused. Mom's hands are soft, with joints that are becoming arthritic.

My own hands operate power tools, work at the computer, stitch, knit, cut, whip up things in the kitchen. They have spun yarn from wool and other fibers, and woven yards and yards of fabrics. They have held paintbrushes and carving tools. They have cast and molded paper pulp and used tweezers to position incredibly tiny pieces in collages. I see my mother's hands in mine with some arthritis in one finger. Several fingers have been broken and needed stitches over the years. Both thumbs have been injured to the point that the nails do not grow properly. I have thumbs that remind me of my father's.

You can't tell it by looking, but I am a lefty. I am not fully ambidextrous because I cannot write or use eating utensils with my right hand. But everything else is done right-handed. I would be lost if I tried to use the left-handed knitting or crochet instructions. Left-handed scissors were my enemy in grade school.

My hands held, carressed, and soothed lovers, babies and grandbaby. They held my children's hands when they were small. They hold my grandson's hands now. They clap and wave in expressions of joy and excitement when dancing with a three year old boy. When words wouldn't come, my hand held the hand of a dying ex-husband in expression of compassion and love.

Thank you, Andrea, for suggesting this topic. Posted by Picasa


Blogger Strong Enough said...

You have VERY busy hands. Thanks for sharing! Have a great SF and Happy Easter!

8:25 AM  
Blogger firstborn said...

ellen this was wonderful to read...

thanks for sharing your thoughts...well done indeed!

:) mary ann

8:42 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

beautiful thoughts!

10:04 AM  
Blogger isay said...

another blessed hands!

nice post!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Vee said...

awesome post
love your insight!

11:04 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Oh this was beautiful Ellen! Every word you wrote and seeing your busy little hands made me feel so warm. What a rich, love filled life that is yours!

6:21 PM  
Blogger Whimspiration said...

Thank you

11:23 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

beautiful, ellen.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Going For Greatness said...

Beautiful insight, Ellen! All too often we forget to appreciate our most precious tools; our hands! We so SO MUCH with them yet give them little or no thought. I think today's entry for Studio Friday is a great tribute to recognise that which enables us to create! Have a great weekend! I look forward to next Friday's journey!!
~ Gabi

7:59 AM  
Blogger justjohanna said...

thank you for your lovely, thoughtful post. made me feel all mushy.

8:59 AM  
Blogger ScrappaNu said...

Cool pictures of your working hands.

{ Karin }

1:25 PM  

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