I have a buddy, Carol Romano, who is a nurse. She specializes in
trouble shooting and training in the workplace to reduce injuries.
She spent some time with me in the studio, watching the way I work
and made some suggestions that greatly improved my work and my
She explained that jewelers do most of our carpel tunnel damage in
our holding hand. We hold things that are too small in diameter, try
to hang on to them with a vise-like grip, and then we push, twist
and hammer against the holding hand.
Having both hands anchored onto the bench pin really helps (those of
you who insist on working in the air are flirting with problems).
The GRS Benchmate System is a phenomenal help- in reducing this
stress to the holding hand- but also giving you an extra hand to work
with. Increasing the diameter of your tools can help. (The first wax
carving tools that I made for myself had wicked skinny handles, that
was a mistake. Increasing the diameter greatly reduced hand fatigue
and cramping.) Using foam grips when possible helps.
Doing warm up and stretching exercises is really good to do, as
well. More info in the archives here:
I hope this helps!
-Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine hosting wicked good workshops by the bay.