The hands

Dear friends,

I’ve always been fascinated by hands. Some are delicate and dainty and some are huge and rugged. I’ve always loved my grandmothers hands; from her perfectly shaped and painted oval nails to her nipped wrist. Time has thinned her skin and now you can see the gentle hue of blue along the trails of her veins. I used to think to myself how I wished my hands were that pretty and graceful looking. Even when I was a sick waif my hands were well-rounded and sturdy…to put it succinctly.

As a potter I’ve had to learn some things to accept. Example one being the allowance of clay under my fingernails. I abhor dirt under my fingernails and tend to keep them clipped to the quick to avoid the issue all together. Working in clay leaves the residue not only under the nail but adhered to the cuticle. Those are the times I’m glad to favor the white clays. Sure I’ll carelessly walk around with a smudge of the mud on my face or all over my clothing and not think about it a moment, but once it’s under my nails I’ll work to evacuate it immediately.

I’m convinced that a potter cannot retain nice hands. They’re either dry, gnarled from the years of shaping, dirty looking after 10 washes, or stained by glaze and colored clay.

You’ll never see a potter as a hand model.

T

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