Friday, January 28, 2011

WOW! about that hand post... and some pottery stuff too.

I would like to thank all of the people who responded to my post about hands, here, on my facebook, and by private message, across the driveway...
I was a little more than afraid to put all this out there. Those who know me best, know that it is something that I very rarely talk about in any real way. Sure I'll answer questions, or mention things that happen, but as a whole the topic rarely gets any in depth treatment. Now that the intro is out there, and the ball is rolling I feel a little more confident in persuing it as a project.
Kasey- you are correct, I make things because that was what I was born to do. It really isn't a choice for me, so much as it is a calling. There is a lot more to be said on this particular point, but you nailed it. I don't just want to be a maker, I have to be one, it is a very important part of who I am.
Nancy- you have been there literally from day one. There are no words to describe what your friendship means to me. BUT there are lots and lots of incriminating photos... Mwahahahahaha!

Liz M- there is most certainly an art project in this, I just need to find it. Wrestling this topic into submission is about as easy as nailing Jello to a tree. But I will prevail and something will come of it. The outward part is the easy one, its the parts that don't show that give me trouble.
Kerry- you are correct, the other parts of us get to work thier mojo when something is askew. The brain is a mysterious thing. It is that very aspect of differing abilities that I think drives me to be a maker. I think the intense focus on my hands, and on figuring out how to use my hands to accomplish everyday tasks has made me really develop the creative aspect of my brain. I am pretty sure that my brain has rewired itself to see things differently, and to hone my visual problem solving skills.
Every task that I learn, I do so by observing how other people do it, and translating the movements they make into movements I am capable of. There is no mimic action happening here. I do everything differently. I see everything differently. I am an intense observer and analyst of movement, and of dexterity . I have become intimately aware of the limits of my body, and have consistantly pushed the boundaries of what my muscles and joints can handle. This is the only way I know how to get things done.
This need for intense observation is coupled with what I call my 3D curse. When I look at a flat pattern, I see the finished three dimensional form. Conversely I can break down a three dimensional form, to its basic componants in my mind. I really don't have a way to switch this off and I must say, that sometimes it makes me a little crazy. I am sure that most artists have this ability to some extent. For me it is both a blessing and a curse.
I managed a bit of time in the studio today, getting a platter and some tumblers and yarn bowls underway, I am feeling a bit like a slacker these days, and need to beef up production a bit. There are so many things stuck inside my brain trying to get out.


  1. January is crappy and it is hard NOT to be a bit of a slacker, eh? Love the picture of your wee self!

  2. I think sitting on kitchen floors is a kid favorite. There are so many pictures of me as a kid sitting on the kitchen floor. Usually I'm messing in the pots and pans or something. Okay, I just now realized we were all probably doing that cuz that's where mom was. Duh.

    Now, go on with your bad self!

  3. Pots and pans are the best kid toy ever!

  4. I always wind up on my kitchen floor when folks are over. We only have a couple of barstools in there to begin with, and in spite of the lack of seating, we always end up in the kitchen. And it's easier to rub dogs' bellies when you're on the floor;)

    Great posts, Lizzie. I think it's fascinating to find out the thought processes behind work as well as the finished product.

  5. Kerry, we use the kitchen as a cultural breeding ground on the east coast of Canada... Some of our best art happens in the kitchen. no matter how hard I have tried to polish up over the years, the dining and living rooms have never been the place that people want to be. As a result the only decent furniture I have is my kitchen

  6. Liz, I have make one small comment on something you said in the previous post. You said you learned how to do everything by observation and then sorting out how to translate what the other person was doing into something you were capable of doing, and never learning it by mimic. That may well be true for the vast majority of things you do, but I recall one thing where it wasn't the case.

    I distinctly recall the day you said "The only thing I can't do that others can do is start and then hammer in a nail." And I told you that we could fix that, because even though I have two hands, I had driven hundreds of nails using only one hand (usually while hanging on to something to steady myself with the other hand). One of the things guys learn while doing summer construction jobs in their youth.

    So I then proceeded to show you how you could start and hammer in a nail with one hand, and you did the same thing by mimic. No translation needed. And with that, the last thing you "couldn't do" vanished. It was nice to be able to pass on that little trick so you could hammer away whenever you needed to. Hope you've made lots of use of it.

    Oh, and while I'm here, did you ever get that keyboard mapping driver for the one handed Dvorak layout (right hand)? It would take a bit of time to learn the new layout of the keys, but would make typing quite a bit faster after you got used to it. The layout of letters is optimized for typing English so you have the least possible hand movement for the most commonly typed letters.

    If you're on Windows, you can download the one handed Dvorak drivers here:

    and if you're on a Mac with an older version of OS X you can get the driver here:

    and if you have a Mac with 10.5.8 or later, it comes with the system. I just looked and I have the one handed layouts here on my MacBook. Yeah, I know, retraining yourself to a new layout is tedious, but it goes more quickly than you might imagine.

  7. Mira's Papa.. you are correct sir.. I did learn that one thing by mimic! I actually thought of that after I posted the blog. I have yet to switch to Dvorak, but was actually going to email you about that.. Sadly, still working with Windows, but WANT to be a mac girl badly. Sigh.