Profile picture of Jess Tolbert

The part by which a thing is held. Handled.To hold.To grasp.To feel.To use.

Within everyday experience, I am interested in the way we use our hands.The hand is taken for granted in the routine and mundane moments of a day; as Frank R.Wilson writes in his book, The Hand,“Our lives are so full of commonplace experience in which the hands are so skillfully and silently involved that we rarely consider how dependent upon them we actually are.”

With a focus on objects that relate directly to our bodies and to objects that our hands use, my work highlights the interface between the hand and the moments wherein it is put to use.The discrete sculptures are suggestive of utility and it is through making and manipulation that I call into question the hands’ function in the everyday realm and that of the handmade.

Jess Tolbert is a maker and educator currently living in Central Texas. She received her BFA in Metal/Jewelry from Texas State University, San Marcos in 2009 and an MFA in Metal from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. She is currently adjunct teaching at Texas State University, San Marcos and is also the Metal Department Artist-in-Residence at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas. Tolbert’s research and studio practice focuses on the function of the hands, the everyday, and the making and manipulation of objects.


Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.