My Hands Already Know

I was reminded of an unusual experience of my own when I read K-L Masina’s article “How to fake it until you make it.” (Sadly, her blog has been discontinued so I no longer can link to it.) Her particular experience was with her yoga practice and she nailed the concept perfectly.

My own experience was in a totally different arena of life. I had just been injured in a car accident so I could not continue with my pottery work, which was my livelihood.

The week after the accident a local class and military ring manufacturer unexpectedly offered me a job for which I had not applied. They needed someone to run the wax injection equipment and offered to train me.

Sherman, my new boss, said that it took six months for a person new to the process to be able to correctly execute all the processes. Worse yet, many people would not ever be able to learn it at all. He was definitely an authority in this matter since he had set up training programs for large class and military ring manufacturers in the past.

So he set about training me. I am mechanically inclined so the clamping processes and the vacuum injection machine were not too daunting. However, I was handling molds so delicate that a fingernail could ruin them and these molds cost several hundred dollars apiece. Working with these fragile molds and the equally fragile waxes I removed from them was a challenge.

The waxes had plugs, little metal parts which had to be extracted from under the top of the ring using a little wax trapdoor inside the ring, which left a hollow top on the ring. The trapdoor could not be broken and also had to be fastened shut with wax and smoothed gently with a scraper tool.

Sherman hounded me to wear my loupe constantly and was a stickler for perfection. He steadily rejected all my work.

Every time I made an error, something rose up inside me to say, “My hands already know how to do this!” There was nothing external to support that statement, but it rose from inside full force every time.

After three days I completed a set of waxes that passed Sherman’s most stringent inspection, to his complete astonishment.

This article is featured in Personal Growth Carnival, and Bryan Fleming presents a great showcase of other articles in the carnival you would enjoy investigating.

This post also appears in Personal Development Carnival, along with an extensive collection of articles.



Copyright © Lexi Sundell 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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4 thoughts on “My Hands Already Know

  1. Lexi Sundell

    Thanks! Learning to maintain and manage flow is one of the fundamental necessities for a professional artist. Amatuers are marked by the statement, “I paint when I am in the mood.” The professional knows how to put himself or herself there on purpose. Jewelry work taught me a lot about flow.

  2. Pingback: Personal Development Carnival 04/22/07 Edition - Spirituality Applied to Life - Balanced Life Center

  3. Pingback: Bryan C. Fleming » Personal Growth Carnival #38

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