I am totally smitten.
They’re called Finger Gloves, and you can find out more about them here.
No, I have no connection to this company. I was sent these little jewels (as my dad would say) by Ruth, a fiber artist in Montana, who thought they might be what I needed to protect my fingers while beading. I’d been relying on a combination of band-aids (at night to try to help heal the damage) and super glue (during the day to keep the blunt end of the needle from slipping into the various holes in the tip of my middle “needle-pushing” finger). I cannot use a thimble: I have tried many, many times. See?
I have tried all of these, above, and even have a lovely antique silver one that I occasionally try to use. The problem for me is that if I have a thimble on my middle finger, I won’t use it but will unconsciously move to using my ring finger. Put a thimble on both those fingers? I’ll use my index finger. I don’t know why, but that’s the way it always works. It’s like when you have a minor skin injury and put on a band-aid and then hold that finger away from the others without even noticing. With these, though, I forget that I’m wearing anything–they’re that comfortable. I had one on the other night while I was out listening to live music and stitching, and we’d get up and dance every now and then, and I couldn’t even tell I had it on. They are kind of ugly–I wish they came in all my favorite colors. Wouldn’t that be cool?
The website suggests using these for everything from food handling to gardening to home repair but especially for arts and crafts. A really cool thing is that they’re textured on the outside and smooth on the inside, so you can turn them inside out and have either a textured or a smooth surface. They say they’re especially good for using while hot gluing things and to protect your nails.
I really do love these. Not only do they protect my finger, but they are excellent needle grips, helping pull the needle through multiple layers of fabric, something that used to give me fits. At $5.99 for a package of 12, the price is excellent, too–they’re supposed to be virtually indestructible: their motto is “Use ’em until you lose ’em.” They’re machine washable (I haven’t tried that yet) and can be cut to size if you want to cover just the tip of your finger (I haven’t done that, either–I just got them over the weekend). The one thing I noticed is that they *do* get sweaty on the inside and will wrinkle your skin, so I take it off periodically, turn it inside out to dry, and let my finger breathe. Other than that, I could wear one all the time. They are made of latex, so if you have latex sensitivity, these aren’t for you. You could go there and leave a hint, though, I suppose.
Anyway, as I said: I’m not affiliated with this company and haven’t even made a purchase–I got mine as a wonderful gift. But based on the hours I’ve worn one so far, I heartily recommend them. Get the mixed pack (6 medium, 6 large) and give them a try for whatever you do: painting, gluing, encaustic, clay. Let me know how they work for you!
Speaking of trying them with encaustic, if you’d like to give that a try, check out Michelle Belto’s book, Wax and Paper Workshop: Techniques for Combining Encaustic Paint and Handmade Paper and don’t forget to listen to our podcast where she introduces us to the world of encaustic painting.
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS