Many hands have made light work of a Dunedin artist's latest
Sculptor Gavin Wilson will hold his first show, ''Back On
Track'', next week since he lost his right hand in a edge
trim picker machine accident at a Dunedin bedding
manufacturer on June 6 last year.
''Sculpting isn't work to me, it's a passion. So I'm pretty
excited about the exhibition. It's a goal I had set myself,''
the 44-year-old said yesterday.
''One of the pieces in the exhibition I did within a week of
getting out of hospital. I had to know I could still do it.''
To continue carving after the accident, he had to adapt
various tools, including chisels and a mallet made from a car
towball, to fit his prosthetic forearm.
''The prosthetic department was great. They measure it to the
same size as your previous hand. But you damage quite a few
in the early days because you can't feel blades going into
them,'' Mr Wilson said.
''Then I went to see some engineers about how I could hold a
chisel and hammer again. We worked out that the best way to
do it was with springs which lock into my arm, which I can
weld my tools on to.
''I've got about 10 tools, all up. The funny thing is, you
never miss with them. The prosthetic weighs about 5kg and you
lose your balance when you take it off after eight hours
Not all of his hands are working models.
''I've got a good one for special occasions, but the wife
keeps that one locked away,'' he said, with a chuckle.
Mr Wilson bears no resentment over the accident.
''The decision [to amputate] was already pretty much made
when I woke up in hospital,'' he said.
''There's no point in dwelling on stuff. That doesn't get you
anywhere. You've just got to get on with things.''
In June, E F Products Ltd Partnership (Ellis Fibre Ltd) was
fined $45,000 and ordered to pay $25,000 reparation, after it
admitted failing to take all practicable steps to protect the
safety of an employee, under the Health and Safety in
''Back On Track'' opens at 5.30pm on Wednesday at Koru
Gallery and runs until October 26.