I read Ester Knobel’s book The Mind in the Hand whilst in the enamel studio at the University of the West of England in 2011 (Elizabeth left what I knew was a copy gifted to her by the artist on my desk one morning, so I read it without delay to give it back to her, unenamelled), and wrote down a quote in my (then) new sketchbook. I’m currently reading Lisbeth den Besten’s On Jewellery, and yesterday wrote down what I just confirmed was the first part of the same quote, in another new sketchbook.
“I’m bothered by the fact that theoretical commentary is left to theoreticians who control the words, whereas the artists themselves tend to be inarticulate, locking themselves up in their mute fortresses. But despite the muteness embedded in us, I feel that we have a duty and a responsibility to think, to formulate, to teach. In this series, I am attempting to clarify the [Hebrew] term milekhet mahshevet (work of craftsmanship), which actually has a poetic equivalent in English, namely ‘the mind in the hand.'”
Apart from the ideological issues, perhaps I also had to address my own need to define that evasive and obsessive mental state of the creative process, wherein your thoughts drive you to act, and the act pushes you to think.”
Esther Knobel (in conversation with Tamar Manor-Freidman) The Mind in the Hand, Carmel Publishing House, Jerusalem 2008, p xxiii