Nice Worker Hands | Mixed-Media Artist Jenny Cochran Lee

Some things never seem to become outdated, and that definitely applies to past issues of Cloth Paper Scissors. Perhaps you’re new to the community, or maybe you missed an issue on the newsstand. If you’re looking for more techniques and inspiration from mixed-media artists, I have good news for you! Many Cloth Paper Scissors back issues are now on clearance so that we can get them into your hands and inspire more creative adventures.

For example, here’s a touching article about hands that do amazing things.

Mixed-media artist Jenny Cochran Lee, at
Mixed-media art by Jenny Cochran Lee (

Nice Worker Hands by Jenny Cochran Lee, Mixed-Media Artist

Many years ago, I was on a date with a long-haired, French literature student. After dinner, we sat in a dimly lit restaurant and gazed at one another. He turned my hand over in his and looked at it. I imagined him thinking romantic thoughts (in French, of course) about my elegant hand. Instead, he said in a resigned tone, “nice worker hands.” I was shocked. Until that moment, I thought my hands were just as lovely as any woman’s. I wore rings on at least three fingers. I kept my long nails manicured and polished. I even held them daintily in photographs. After that date, I couldn’t look at my hands without imagining them changing spark plugs, shucking clams, or assembling small tools.

Over the years, the rings started to stay in the jewelry box. The long manicured nails disappeared after having my first child. And who knows how my hands (or anything else) are positioned for a photograph.

Almost 20 years later, my hands and I have come a long way. These hands have done many things. They have planted trees, diapered babies, scratched dog bellies, and folded at least 2,000 sweat socks. They have sewn quilts, crafted collages, painted anything that could be painted, and tried just about every craft supply on the market.

That old boyfriend was right. I do have worker hands. But he was wrong about one thing. These hands aren’t just nice. These hands are amazing. When I look at my paint-stained and paper-cut hands now, I see more than well-used body parts. I see a connection with the proud worker-handed women in my family, and all the tough worker-handed women of the world–women who don’t mind chipping a nail in the quest to create beauty, love, and joy. ~J.C.L.

Take a look at your hands. What do you see? I hope you see memories. I hope you feel proud.

Discover more wonderful art, techniques, and inspiration with these back issues of Cloth Paper Scissors, and put your lovely hands to work creating and expressing.

Here’s to chipping a nail for art,


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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