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Exploring Beauty Through Touch

2 Blind Chicks With Attitude mugs sitting on a desk. 1 shows the image & slogan and the other shows the tactile braille

Exploring Beauty Through Touch

“The less we see with our eyes the more we see with our hearts.”

Blind Chicks With Attitude braille mug with Abby image to the right of the handle and braille to the left
Image 1

We really don’t know what we don’t know. To people with sight, it seems unlikely those who cannot see can appreciate beauty, yet it’s true. Being able to experience the world with and without eyesight provides a unique perspective. Since losing my sight my life is more meaningful and my view of the world has expanded.

In the early days of my sight loss, I obsessed on what I lost and my future seemed so bleak and uncertain. However, when I connected with members of the blind community my life took an unexpected detour. Instead of a desolate and dull present, I’m living a life with purpose and passion.

I continually meet some of the most fascinating people one of whom I get to introduce you to today. The first time I met Kathy Keck was at a Pennsylvania Council of the Blind state convention. Recently I spoke to Kathy to see if she would be interested in collaborating on a special project.

Kathy of Loving Touch Connection is the artist who creates the braille on Bold Blind Beauty’s coffee mugs. When I spoke with Kathy about creating braille phrases on our mugs if it’s possible she was more excited than I. What I love most about Kathy’s work is her passion to create beautiful pieces for those who cannot see. In my opinion, the tactile component is a feature that can boost any artwork to be appreciated by all.

Following is a snippet from an interview with Kathy on Mystic Access Podcast:

How did you come up with the Loving Touch Connection idea?

On many of the glassware pieces, I use a special glass paint to outline and accent the designs for more detail—this is a thicker paint which creates a raised outline around the design. One night about seven years ago, I was having a glass of wine in one of these types of glasses, and it suddenly occurred to me, that this might be something blind people could enjoy—to be able to “see” with their fingers a design of flowers, birds, etc. — it was like a message from God giving me so many ideas. To not only do artistic designs with the outlining but also to put messages in braille on the glassware. Such as coffee mugs with a message like #1 mom, have a great day etc.

I went online, to see if there were any other types of products like what I was thinking of, and there was nothing with raised-dot braille and artwork. I did a little bit of research on braille, and came up with a technique of applying words in raised-dot Braille to the glassware.”

Could you tell us more about your products in general and the Loving Touch Connection line in particular?

Loving Touch Connection line of products are raised-dot braille messages on wine glasses, martini glasses beer glasses, Salt and pepper shakers, spice jars, Glass canisters for the kitchen countertop for coffee tea sugar etc. And treat jars for the guide dogs treats. All of the pieces have raised-dot braille and the word in script (unless a customer requests otherwise). Designs are colorful and always have a raised outline around the design.” ~Kathy Keck

When Will The Braille Mugs Be Available?

The braille coffee mugs will be on the site as soon as I can get them synched with Shopping With Abby. ~Steph

Exploring Beauty Through Touch Featured Image Description:

To the left of the handle is the slogan “Blind Chicks With ATTITUDE.” in braille.

  • Image #1: The Abby trio and the slogan are to the right of the mug’s handle. Directly under the trio is the slogan: “Blind Chicks With ATTITUDE.”

Connecting With Kathy On Social Media:

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8 thoughts on “Exploring Beauty Through Touch

  1. What a fabulous idea! I am curious to know how sight impaired people perceive visual beauty through touch. Those of us who are sighted must rely on those who are not to tell us. This is a great start.

    1. Thanks Robyn. Technology is playing a major role in the ability for blind/visually impaired people to experience visual beauty through touch. 3-D printing is just one example. Then there are creatives who make their art tactile or use other means like sound waves.

  2. I often tell my students to close their eyes, “Feel it,” I say and it works each and every time. The unevenness they overlook, they can feel. It’s faszinating.

    1. One of the things I noticed several years into my sight loss was almost magical. I was waiting on my paratransit ride and listening to music on my phone when all of the sudden I could hear individual instruments, the violin in particular. It was a moment I will never forget and I remember thinking “wow, I think I found my super power.” But since then I so enjoy really listening to music not a s a collective group of instruments/voices but being able to single out pieces is for me extraordinary. For musicians I’m sure this is not a big deal but for me it still continues to amaze me.

  3. Truly inspiring, both of you!
    XxX

    1. Thank you Patty!!💖🌹

  4. Amazing blog Stephanae! I love what you say about the joys of living with no sight, and, “The less we see with our eyes the more we see with our hearts.” That is so true. Carla Ernst

    1. Thanks Carla, I wish I could have found who said it but no luck. I thought it was appropriate for this post.

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