Thursday, December 17, 2009

Artists Dirty Hands

Jon stumbled upon a most interesting post on a design blog he reads daily ( The post highlighted an artists hands while making their jewelry. Apparently their hands were in a photo showing their work. Comments grew and so did the concept of sharing the working hands of others. What resulted was a compilation of hands and submissions were being shared on her blog. Jon submitted my hands and here they are.
What came to mind when he shared this with me and while he was taking these images in our studio yesterday afternoon was a poem I read many years ago. The author escapes me, but the context of the poem was about how 'the trade enters your body'. Whatever trade you pursue, it becomes part of you.
The sentiment resonated and too the work these and millions of other hands and what they do on a daily basis. Our minds and our hands are our most basic tools. How we use them is often reflected without saying a word.

Why do we do what we do?
I can only answer for myself.
I make art because to do anything other than that feels odd and displaced.
I make art to stay sane in a world of insanity.
I make art to settle the chatter which runs like a non-stop soundtrack in my head.
I make art to find peace within myself.
I make art to expel the millions of ideas that fill my head.
I make art to share and sell and derive my livelihood.
I make art because I need to.

To quote one of my favorite musicians, Dave Matthews from the "Big Whiskey" album, Why do I make art? --- because it's "why I am"!

Patricia Hecker

To see more hand images, the blog I referenced is:

To see what my hands make:


Martha said...

I often look at the almost perfectly round burn scars at the base of my right thumb and remember exactly what I was making when I put let my hand lip into the 5000 degree flame. How I was so focused on what I was doing that I didn't notice that either 1) the heat getting hotter near my thumb and 2) seeing the few inches away from from what I was looking at so intensely to discover that, yikes, big flame you're about to pass you're hand into. They are my battle scars, I wear them proudly.

I also remember once looking at an 85 year old weaver's hands with their raised veins, nicks, scars and calluses and thinking how beautiful her hands were.


Campbell Jane said...

Great post!
Happy Holidays & Many Blessings