Hands speak louder than words. For instance, a woman’s hands speak of homes, sweet caresses, embroidery and writing. Their movements reveal the woman’s character, their familiarity with the rest of the body her degree of self-assurance. But it is above all when hands come into contact with matter that a glimpse of the soul can be caught.
To Karin her hands have always been excellent partners, feminine extensions to explore and shape the world around her, which have always delicately expressed immense strength. As she is one metre eighty tall, it has been her hands that have guided her familiarity with the world within and without her, a world with boundaries that are different from the rest of the female universe and Karin has to come to terms with this.
Outlooks change with shifting viewpoints, just as Karen’s outlook has changed over the years as she has grown up. Constantly searching for new depths has meant gradually refining her perception, which has become dense, concrete and practical. At a fair with her husband some years ago in America, some visitors at their stand insisted on checking her hands to see if she had been capable of fashioning the few pipes put on display almost for fun. At the time she had been flattered, but also annoyed. This is because whoever is not able to read the signs that creativity leaves on hands means that all they see is a woman’s story, like so many others. Indeed, while she felt the heat of these stranger’s hands as they sought calluses and rough skin, for a moment she felt the same warmth of her father’s hands many years earlier, who had not fully understood her, either. She was 11 and for the first time without her brother she had been allowed to plan her holidays as she liked. It had not been easy to persuade her parents, but she had succeeded in the end. She just wanted to visit exhibitions and museums, as her dream was the energy transmitted through a picture or sculpture, to depict the world subjectively, to rearrange space, depth, colour and matter into something that would capture the heart. In fact, she had chosen to study art and now that she had decided to display her first pipes in public she realised that in fact this had greatly helped her to achieve certain results more quickly.
The mind is bizarre, skipping from thought to thought without any apparent logical connection. So following the brief image of being hand in hand with her father as they gazed on a Cy Twombly painting was another one of being in her husband’s workshop with pipe makers of the Danish school at the lathe. It was there that she decided that making pipes would be in tune with her personal research on volume in small objects as well. If technique is separate from form, at least initially, why not have a go? After all, it was the technique that scared her, as she had constantly tried to dominate everything according to her own personal temperament and height. When she thinks of her first attempts she smiles. They were so rudimental. She would take a piece of briar, design the type of pipe she wanted to make and it had to be exactly as she wanted it to be. An accurate rendition of a well-planned project. It may have been a way to gain confidence that inexperience made her lack. However, when it came to make, create and shape something with her hands, her practical and aesthetic sense did not back out, like her desire to improve and learn.
After years of being apprenticed to life in 3D, with studies, teaching and exploring new dimensions in art and daily life, Karin has started a new phase, also because Sara, her first child, has been born. So her approach to matter has become more instinctive and less rational. It is as if having given her supreme creative power free rein, which a woman is gifted with from birth, she has become reconciled with reality, space and her need to control them. A space and reality that no longer need to be pigeonholed from a teacher’s strict point of view, but which can now be expressed straight from her guts to her fingers, through her magnetic feminine energy. Her pipes reveal this quality, and now she no longer makes them just for fun. They are solid, dense, almost prolific. Her logo also recalls the points of the compass to guide her in this journey that may take her far. Karin’s hands gracefully wave goodbye.
Special thanks to Miss Karin for her precious contribution
Milano, June 2013