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get a grip

as you probably know, i've been in a lot of pain these last few years due to wrist and arm injury from painting tiny paintings. i've undergone thousands of dollars in treatments and anyone who knows me knows how badly i continue to suffer. my physical therapist i've been working with these last several months has really helped me understand what's happening to me exactly and how i can improve my work behaviors for the future with some stretches, exercises and changes in my work environment.

he taught me this trick, which i think will be useful for not just painters but also people who crochet and writers and jewelers and anyone who works with their hands. i'm not a doctor obviously so this isn't medical advice or a replacement for it, but it's a little tip to reduce your likelihood for injury and possibly provide some relief from some existing work-related pain. (if you're in serious pain, you should see a doctor immediately)

ok! so here goes. you'll need:
1. your narrow instruments (paintbrushes, pencils, pens, knitting needles, anything with a pretty narrow diameter in the handle)
2. some tennis overgrip tape (you can get it at any sports store)
3. scissors

and that's it! it'll take a minute of your time and could save you from a lot of needless suffering. hope this is helpful to someone else out there!
xo susie


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Great idea!
At one point I had lost most of the feeling in my thumb from gripping my paint brush too tightly while painting.
I hope you find a treatment that will help your hand.
Dec. 27th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
oh my god, i know! my thumb has constantly gone numb for years -- that's why he recommended this!!!
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 27th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
hmmm yeah i guess no one holds their knitting needles by the ends. ok, strictly for crochet. sorry, doll!
Dec. 28th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
yes! I used this idea but with electrical tape which got all mushy when it got warm in my hand.. this stuff looks like the solution!
Dec. 27th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
good solution
Perhaps you should look into a pantograph.

Did you ever wonder how they carved individual fonts out of metal in the 16th century? pantograph.
Dec. 27th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
Brilliant!! I think I need to do this to a bunch of pens, I reckon it would improve my handwriting immensely....
Dec. 28th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
i don't know if it will have an effect on your handwriting, but your hands will thank you!
Dec. 28th, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
I ended up buying very fat pens - you can get Dr Grip and the like, I also find using gel pens much easier than ballpoints as you don't have to press as hard. Pilot do a fat gel pen I think. One of those pens saved my life at university, and allowed me to go off the anti-inflammatories I'd been taking.
Dec. 28th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
i have dr grip pens -- they're nice to hold but they kind of write badly. i notice the line drops off and dots when it should be continuous. so i can't use it for drawing. making grips on the pens i like has worked well! (and been less costly)
Dec. 28th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's why I use the gel pen equivalent. I saw some in all different colours in Kinokuniya the other day, I think you have that there, right? Oh, and I find wrapping a plaster (band aid) around the pen makes a nice grip.

I hope you get through this ok, it's been going on too long now! Fortunately for me I had hypermobile joints which was something they promised me I'd grow out of. It was hell for a few years but when I look back now, I realise how far I've come. It's not completely gone, but it's so much better.
Dec. 28th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)
we used to sell rubber grips where i work to slip onto pens and brushes. :)
i hope your wrist will be prefect again very soon.
Dec. 28th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
those are so much better than those rubber grips they tried to get me to use when i was a kid. good idea! i will have to try it. i've been drawing today, for the first time in a while, and i can still feel it :(

hope you're feeling better soon!
Dec. 28th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
awesome little guide! Thank you so much for this advice I think I will take you up on it.

Dec. 28th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC)
GENIUS! i feel dumb for not thinking of that before !
Dec. 28th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
... for the tip, Susie! I've been having some minor wrist problems, and just started painting ACEO's, so this will be very helpful. I'm a cat-painter, too (you could probably tell by the avatar!).

Dec. 28th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
GREAT idea.

I think that's the most beautiful tutorial I've ever seen.
Dec. 29th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
i ordered some of your little round mirrors and just got them in the mail the other day! i got them as gifts, so they're not for me, but i love them & it feels great to buy something from a small business as opposed to some mass produced crap from urban outfitters. i just wanted to thank you =)
Jan. 2nd, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
from Jenine
I knew that was you before I even read the text below the image on the craftzine blog. That font, that design, I sense your visual vocabulary like my own sister's handwriting! Plus your hand in the photo.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
I found you through Craft magazine and wanted to say thank you! This is one excellent idea!
Jan. 4th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)
a little off topic...
Are you from Toronto? I love the font you used in your pictures...It looks exactly like the font used in older TTC subway stations. I love it!
Apr. 5th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
Re: a little off topic...
I'm not from toronto! Those signs sound cool though.
Jan. 21st, 2008 03:52 am (UTC)
AWESOME! i have been taking those rubber grips off of pencils, but it doesn't fit on everything. the other thing i do is make a grip out of fimo and bake it onto the crochet hook.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

Hey, I'm Susie. I'm a painter, illustrator, crafter, musician, keeper of various pets and proprietor of the website boygirlparty.com

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