Talking Hands by Zoya Martin
at Orbital

Left to right:

“When I was an apprentice I would bang this thumb twenty times a day with a hammer. Permanent agony. Took about two years to know where your hammer and chisels are. Most masons use diamond saws now. It’s not as satisfying. You lose yourself in your work when you’re chiselling away.”

– Peter, Stonemason


“The hand’s connected to the brush, you’re not conscious of what you’re doing. You switch off and let your hands do the work.”

– Tony, Traditionally trained Signwriter with over 35 year's experience


“I prick my fingers all the time — you’re better off to pin yourself rather than the bride. You wouldn’t want to be working on a wedding dress with a broken nail, they catch on things. They need to be looked after.”

– Maureen, Designer and Dressmaker at Elle & Stuart


“I like the piping, it’s so intricate, you want it to be perfect. And I like making Dripping Cakes — you smear it with butter cream, drip chocolate over it, and top with shards of chocolate and macarons — you can be more at ease with your hands. When decorating cakes you have to be resourceful…your hands are your best tools.”

– Michelle, Borg’s Cakes, A family business founded by her father 47 years ago


“My hands work mechanically…decanting, syringing, pipetting…fiddly little things. Things are becoming more automated, machinery is now doing things that were done by hand. But I still love the feel of using this equipment.”

– Janeen, Olefins Laboratory Team Leader at Qenos


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