Hands That Make

Handing down of generation, handing down of skill.

Hands That Make, 2019
ended silk blouse with various stitching techniques

Hands that Make is inspired by the five generations of women still alive in my family, ranging from ages 11 to 96, who have all had their ‘hand’ at making. Although making has taken different forms over the generations, the skills of making have been physically handed down through processes of creating and sharing. By using a thrifted garment as the canvas for this work, I acknowledge the usefulness and importance of mending for my great grandmother tended to her own clothes this way. 

Inscripted on the front body are the letters P L T J K: Pearl, Linda, Tammy, Jessica, and Kaylee.

For me, this work is a beautiful way to honour the women before and after me by exploring imagery of young and older hands. For this reason, I signed off on this work with my tool, a single needle and thread, as way to metaphorically invite my future descendants to continue working this way. Handing down of generation, handing down of skill: the hand of the maker is a glorious one. 

Update: In February of 2022, my great grandmother Pearl passed away at 98 years of age. 

Photography by the artist

Using Format