The Thinking Hand: A journey into how hand skills help you see, feel and think!

Oct 15, 2013, 08:17 PM

The Thinking Hand! Limitless knowledge is now available at the touch of a button or a swipe of the screen with the fingertips. Other kinds of knowledge however can only be gained through the fingertips working with hands and forearms in development of craft skills. Recent research reveals how these skills are critical to development not only of craftsmanship itself but the development of visual acuity, even the ability to think, form concepts and develop language. Award-winning arts company Clayground Collective has embarked on a project to renew interest in clay and hand skills highlighting these broader haptic and cognitive issues through a project called Clay Cargo 2013: London to Stoke. This summer Clayground organised clay workshops on a series of boats and canalside locations in London, Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent in partnership with the British Ceramics Biennial and the Canal & River Trust. A strand of this venture was to investigate how hand skills help you see, feel and think. A group of young people Birmingham Ormiston Academy worked with clayground to create a clay installation in the Ikon Gallery's youth programme space beside the canal in Digbeth, Birmingham. Roving reporters from LOOK recorded their journey around the space exploring the artworks created by the students. They also interviewed sculptor Ruth Claxton, ceramic artist Simon Taylor and Glassmaker David Prytherch about how they learned their skills and heard about David's research into the significance and complexity of understanding haptic skills and perception. More information about the project can be found at:

Additional thanks to: Matthew Horspool (@mhorspool), LOOK Roving Reporter; Ben Rendle (LOOK Roving Reporter); Caroline Gervay (Photography); Paul Hopkins (Audio Production and editing)