Last week I spent very little time in the studio. The week started with a return visit to my doctor for another cortisone shot. You may recall that I developed “trigger thumb” back in September. A blessed first cortisone shot gave me complete relief from pain and “locking” for about two months, but then the thumb clicking returned, accompanied by a good amount of pain.  So, Monday and Tuesday I was on complete “hand rest” (oh so difficult) and I took it pretty easy the rest of the week. I did manage to make a bunch of my “Playera” leaf plates:

Yesterday I decided to push the envelope further by throwing mugs. My mugs have been flying of the shelves but I’ve been avoiding throwing more because this form seems to put the most strain on my poor thumb. Happily, the throwing went well, and today’s trimming was pain free. I decided not to push it, and will finish off pulling and attaching the handles tomorrow

Sorely missed during the trimming session was my trusty Dolan 572, which just happens to be my favorite trimming tool. As you can see, it has seen better days…

As the tool is fairly new (only about 7 months), and Dolan Tools have such a good name, I contacted the company. They offered to fix the tool, but this meant I had to send it back to them.  I’m really surprised the tool fell apart the way it did (I’ve NEVER had a tool fall apart on me) but am happy it will be getting a new lease on life. Now if only my thumb was as easy to fix… Though I am trying to stay optimistic, I’d be very surprised if my symptoms go away AND stay away.  The abuse my thumb is now taking on a regular basis is clearly a bit much.  Hopefully a routine of soaking, immobilizing and resting my thumb (and popping various supplements, vitamins and anti-inflammatory herbs) will keep problems at bay.    Any other potters out there with similar issues?  I’d love to hear about how you keep your hands healthy!   On that note, I’m off to soak my hand in Epsom salts…