Hand Weakness

     One of the things that affects my sculpting the most, is my hand weakness.  My left hand is measurably weaker than my right by 50%.  Recently, however, that doesn’t seem to matter when I over do it.  My myasthenia gravis is definitely making itself known more and more.  I noticed this a few weeks ago while working on my war elephant.  My fingers just didn’t want to work.  I couldn’t even push soft clay around.  VERY frustrating to say the least.

Finding Solutions

So I grabbed a wooden spoon and a wooden sculpting tool. And THEN, I thought of something.  I could grip a spoon and my tools. I just couldn’t make my fingers do the pinching and smoothing movements I was asking them to do.

I used the wooden spoon as support while I used the sculpting tool to pull and push the clay around on one side.  Then I would switch; hold the spoon on the side I just joined and use the sculpting tool to pull and push the clay on the other side.  Effectively creating a solid join between the coils I use when sculpting.  VOILA

This is only one instance of having to alter tools from their original form and function to help mitigate/work around my disabilities.  I often wrap tape around my most used tools to make the handle wider and easier to grip.  I bought some large foam pencil grips for some of my tools to help with the grip issues as well.  It’s definitely a learning curve but one I’m happy to be sharing in hopes that it helps others.  It’s actually something I’ll be working on in the coming weeks.  I’ll be taking pictures of my most used tools and the steps I used to alter them to make them fit my needs.  So be on the lookout for that. 🙂

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