Let’s talk about your hands

Obviously, its winter time. As I write there is a powerful blizzard is assaulting the north east, blanketing us with snow.

Now if you’re like me, pottery is in your blood and you work with clay no matter the weather of the temperature. Also if you’re like me, you find that the skin on your hands, particularly your fingers, isn’t as happy about that as you are. So to that end I want to share a couple of tips and more specifically products that I use to keep my hands healthy.

Latex Gloves


This is probably the easiest and most obvious product to use to protect your hands. It makes a lot of sense if you have your own studio or are a tech making glazes, but I would also recommend using them for any time your working with bone dry clay. For me, bone dry clay dust (which is also dangerous to breathe so use a wet green scrub pad) 576300-greenscrubpadmedium sucks the moisture right out of my hands and make them crack faster than when I’ve been throwing. So whenever you are working with water on bone dry clay, I highly recommend wearing latex gloves, they will save your hands and not really affect your dexterity.


Now I cannot say if all lotions are created equal, I am in no way a connoisseur and I only play a doctor on TV (Note: I am not a medical doctor in anyway) but for me I use 2 regularly and keep a third in my bag.

The one I keep in the bag is a simple Vaseline intensive care travel lotion, which you can get anywhere.

What I keep in my personal studio is a tea tree oil lotion.


I love using tea tree products, as far as I know, tea tree oil is an amazing natural antiseptic and I’ve used several different iterations of the products for multiple things. If you’d like to know more about tea tree oil, here is the WebMd Link.

After I use lotion, I will follow it up with O’keefe’s Healing Hands. I like to use it to help seal the moisture into my hands. I don’t like using it by itself, I find my hands feel too waxy.


Now these are just my preferences for hand creams, if you know of a better one please share some info in the comments section.

Hand Massages 

I fell in love with getting my hands massaged thanks to an ex-girlfriend who is an excellent massage therapist and acupuncturist. If you live in Western Suffolk County on Long Island, I highly recommend her, Melanie Murphy http://soulfullivingcenter.com/

That being said, if you live anywhere else and you have the funds, do some due diligence and look for a qualified and licensed massage therapist who is willing to do a hand massage. I would assume they would be, but I know it can be a tedious massage for the therapist so make sure you tip them well afterward.

However, if you have neither the time nor the money or live in a remote area, there are some products you can buy. I will use a combination of a finger massager


as well as a hand/foot massager


I’ll roll this between and over my hands and it definitely helps take out the ache.

Finishing Touches

If my hands ache particularly bad, I’ll wear compression gloves. I am a big fan of compression and wear compression often for aching arm muscles, my shoulders and wrists.


For me they definitely help take away some ache. If there is a specific spot that aches, you can also use actual wrapping bandages and medical tape. A little searching on YouTube and you can find how to protectively tape/wrap pretty much any part of your body to help it heal.

If you’d like to know more about compression in general here is a link: https://www.advancedtissue.com/benefits-compression-therapy/

Here is also a link about physical therapy taping: https://www.youtube.com/user/LumosInc

One last technique is to soak your hands in warm water wither Epsom salts. As I understand it the salts help pull the lactic aside out of your muscles.

So I hope this helps and is a good resource for you. It looks to be a cold and hard winter, so keep your hands healthy. If you have any tips, please feel free to share in the comments section.

Till then, get into the studio and make something!

Questions on the technique, email me at sparanoarts@gmail.com, like what I’m doing feel free to shop my Etsy store

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