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This Master Goldsmith Doesn't Need Fingers to Create Her Artwork

So what if Annette Gabbedey was born without fingers? What many would consider a disability clearly hasn't hindered her ability to craft gorgeously intricate diamond- and opal-studded trinkets. In fact, she argues that it's actually an advantage.


Based in St. Catherine's Frome, in the UK, the 48-year-old metallurgist has been crafting jewelry for nearly a quarter century. She doesn't rely on any specialized tools for her work, but rather she adapts conventional files, blowtorches, and other jewelry-making implements to suit her needs. As she explains to documentary filmmaker, David Hedges:

Obviously making jewelry is very tactile and something you do with your hands. I do find that people usually do have that usual question of "how do you manage to make jewelry" and the day to day things as well. And my answer to that is really, I tend to look at people with fingers and wonder, "How can you manage with fingers, because they must get in the way."


Either way, the quality of Gabbedey's craftsmanship is undeniable. Check out some of her pieces here.

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It seems to me like the hardest part might be trying to have someone explain how to do something. They can do it with fingers, but then she has to translate that movement into her method.

I'm impressed, if I were to suddenly lose all my fingers I'm not sure how well I would be able to adapt to keep my current craft.