Quotation by Octavio Paz

Made by hand, the craft object bears the fingerprints, real or metaphorical, of the person who fashioned it. These fingerprints are not the equivalent of the artist's signature, for they are not a name. Nor are they a mark or a brand. They are a sign: the almost invisible scar commemorating our original brotherhood or sisterhood. Made by hand, the craft object is made for hands. Not only can we see it, we can also finger it, feel it. We see the work of art but we do not touch it. The religious taboo that forbids us to touch saints—"you'll burn your hands if you touch the Tabernacle," we were told as children—also applies to paintings and sculpture.
Octavio Paz (b. 1914), Mexican poet. "Seeing and Using: Art and Craftsmanship," Convergences: Essays on Art and Literature, Harcourt Brace (1987).
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