I am left-handed. While only about 10% of the population is left-handed, there are a great many who work in the arts. I don’t know that a greater percentage of artists are left handed than in the regular population, but I do know that we lefties have had to come up with a great many work arounds to accommodate our left handedness in a world set up for right handed people. I am also left eared, left footed and left eyed, meaning that I am able to hear, see and kick better with my left side. Also, weirdly and this may border on TMI, when I was nursing my two children, then babies, it was my left breast that filled with milk far more readily than my right.
Moving right along…
When I found the artist Sue Spargo and began learning the stitches she uses in her work, I found it challenging. There were certain stitches that no matter how much I tried, mine didn’t look the way hers did. The Pekinese Stitch is an example of that. I remember doing her Fresh Cut Block of the Month and she used that stitch on one of her flower stems. I kept trying to replicate what she was doing, following her instructions, as laid out in her book Creative Stitching, but somehow my Pekinese Stitch looked all wrong. Finally, when I was with Sue I showed her what I was doing and she said, “Oh, but you’re doing it as though you were right handed, but with your left hand!” Then she showed me how to do it left handed. It was a game changer! (I have since taught myself how to do this stitch using either my right or left hand.)
I’ve encountered similar issues when trying to learn how to needle turn appliqué, sew on a sewing machine, put a zipper in, buttons, and any number of other things that I’ve attempted over the years.
In the coming months I am collaborating with my favorite artist on a You Tube project that we think will help us lefties in the world! Stay tuned.
Since writing this post, I have launched my YouTube Channel – Ariane Zurcher – On the Other Hand. I’d love to hear from you there!