A Stroke of Genius
Can gloves be brilliant? Is there anything new to discover besides making tubes for four fingers and a thumb and using materials with different degrees of insulation for warmth? The answer is yes. The other day I literally found the gloves of my dreams. I had actually already dreamed up these gloves. But before I got around to making the gloves I had dreamed up, I discovered exactly what I wanted in a department store – and they were even reduced from 16€ to 10€.
My problem was that when the temperatures drop in winter and I have to wear gloves to keep my hands warm, particularly when riding my bicycle, I’m not able to operate my camera very efficiently – and just because it’s winter, I’m not ready to give up my little outings with my camera. Even when I set my camera on automatic, I’m not particularly adept at pressing the shutter release button with my index finger covered up. If I try to change the settings on the back of the camera, which you do with your thumb, it is hopeless. Fumble, fumble and frustration with the gloves on, freezing hands within a very short time with the gloves off.
I already had gloves with cut-off fingers and a cap that you can pull over them to make a kind of mitten. That was fine for the fingers, but my thumb was still wrapped up in wool and insensible. Furthermore, we all know the thumb is the king of the hand – it might be shorter than its fellows, off to the side and by itself, but without the thumb the other four fingers are rather helpless. It was imperative that I have full use of that digit.
The stroke of genius was to create a small slit in the glove for the thumb, not so big as to let the cold air in but big enough to let the thumb slip out to do its work and when done, return to the warmth inside. The most brilliant ideas are always simple. This is exactly what I had intended to do – take a pair of gloves and make a slit for each finger and finish the slits like buttonholes. The gloves I bought are more sophisticated than the ones I had planned since they have the cut-off fingers and a cap to cover them, but the thumb slit was my idea. I wonder why these brilliant gloves were on sale. Didn’t people recognize that the slit was intentional and not just a hole?
I don’t believe the gloves were designed for winter photographers like me who are sensitive to the cold, they’re for people who need a free thumb for their cell phones. Shouldn’t these mitten gloves with a hole be a coveted luxury item? Instead, they were degraded to marked-down goods on the rummage table. Another case of ignorance in the populace and genius gone unrecognized.