It goes without saying that we use our hands for many things: to open doors, to put on shoes, to turn pages in books. We use them to drive, to cook, to comb our hair, to write. Practicalities aside, however, hands perform some of our most meaningful and symbolic functions, as well. They wave hello. They give peace signs and thumbs-ups (not to mention other, less polite salutes). They gesture for us when we speak. They also catch us when we fall, cover our faces on our bad days, and reach out to embrace others on theirs. Today, in grateful tribute, we’ve unearthed 15 treasures that pay homage to hands — and, of course, the handmade, too.
Atlanta illustrator Leela Robinson calls her pair of hand prints “a reminder that life is a balance. On one hand there is life and energy, and on the other we have quiet, stillness, and the unknown.”
You can tap into that tea-for-two feeling even when you’re sipping solo thanks to this mug’s life-sized porcelain fingers, which replace the standard handle.
San Francisco-based Samantha Ives hand-prints these cheerful linen pouches with a smattering of navy blue palms.
Let this pair of vintage mannequin hands keep your books, your coats, your jewelry, or your odds and ends within reach.
Perfect for a child’s room, this print — one of toy maker Merrilee Liddiard’s many fanciful creations — offers a chipper greeting in brightest red.
Self-professed stitchaholic Amy Jones specializes in what she refers to as “hot off the hoop stitched hipsters.” Among them is Audrey, a young woman who’s just come to terms with the fact that her obsession with floral crowns “perhaps…isn’t normal.”
The shape of these tin-plated cookie cutters represents the spirit of giving; it’s also just the right emblem for a sweet treat made by hand — and with lots of heart.
Gregory Beauchamp’s “Found” is a tribute to one of the world’s largest collections of four-leaf clovers (for those wondering, that’s over 70,000 picked by hand, by one man, in one yard).
Fend off evil and usher in good fortune with sterling silver Hamsa earrings, each adorned with a single gleaming, glittering eye.
For collectors of kitsch: eight pieces of (literal) hand soap, made from natural vegetable glycerin and scented with oatmeal, milk and honey.
Meet your newest good luck charm: a black felt patch embroidered to resemble that timeless symbol of hopeful anticipation, a hand with its fingers crossed.
This made-to-order silk top is printed with a plethora of illustrated hands, like dozens upon dozens of pats on the back.
Photographer Debbie Carlos’s “Sprout” prints feature layered images of gracefully positioned hands, whose palms and fingertips foster leaves, stems, and tiny mushrooms.
These painted brooches — laser-cut in the shape of immaculately manicured hands — fasten with magnets, so they won’t do damage to delicate clothing.
The ultimate in creepy cool, this vintage ceramic hand can collect coins or keys in an entryway — or serve as a pedestal for another art object.