Saturday, September 19, 2009

hand + made = handmade

Hands are so significant in our lives. Holding hands – a wonderful thing. Shaking hands – so much importance is placed on this simple act in our society. What part of the body do you “take” in marriage? The hand, of course, upon which the ring is placed. For some of us our hands are our primary form of communication, but even those of us who do not sign use our hands to say far more than we realise.

When we make something with our hands all that significance goes into the object. The word “manual” comes from the Latin for hand (and what do we call our guide? A manual or a “hand”book). The process – using the hands – can be just as important as the final product. Whether we knead, shape, paint, stitch or create in some other way, using our hands is a therapeutic process.

And that is why I love the handmade. The product is unique and often it tells a story. It is a story about the other things the hands were doing at that time, as if their memories were transferred as part of the process. Like a photo that captures life at a certain moment, the product is imbued with that moment and cannot be replicated. It has a life of its own.

my hands

Nikki at My Black Cardigan is giving away 5 copies of  Handmade Melbourne. Quick get over there and tell her why you love all things handmade for your chance to win.


  1. This is a great post Sally. So beautifully written and so true. I found myself nodding and nodding again as I was reading your thoughts.

  2. A beautiful post and thought provoking too. And yes hands (and fingers) often perform amazing tasks as we create and hold and secure things with them. Cherrie

  3. Our hands are something we take for granted. But when you stop and think about everything they do...I shudder to think how one could function without them. Imagine being unable to stitch, to feed yourself, to type...thanks for making me appreciate what my hands enable me to do.

  4. What lovely and thoughtful reflections Sally. I love hands; my hands, my babies' hands, holding my husband's hand. That picture of human hands makes me want to weep with its loveliness.
    I really haven't thought about what it would be like to NOT have the use of my hands for a long time. I'm grateful for them all over again, and grateful for all the things that they help me to produce...

  5. Beautifully done, Sally ... I think that's enough to say!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.