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Artist’s head harness

  • PeterCattermole
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Lizzie has been using painting as a therapy for some time.  Her cerebral palsy means that she can’t use her hands to paint and as she is in a wheelchair it makes it difficult for her to paint on a commercially available easel.  She had a device made for her some time ago that allowed a paint brush to be attached to a cycling helmet but this was difficult to control, kept slipping and was uncomfortable. Also, her painting therapist Simon had to hold her painting attached to a board so she could reach it.

The solution

After discussions with her painting therapist we created a new device that held the brush firmly attached to an adjustable head harness made from the internal part of a safety helmet, aluminium tubing and aluminium clamping blocks.  The prototype worked pretty well but required some adjustment before Lizzie was happy with it.

The next challenge was the easel.  It needed to be able to clamp to the worktable so it didn’t move.  It also needed to lean forward towards Lizzie to compensate for her posture in the wheelchair.  Lastly, Simon said it would be good if the surface where Lizzie’s art work was placed could move up and down, left and right to compensate for Lizzie’s limited reach from her seated position.   This was achieved by cutting slots so the surface could be repositioned and clamped in place.

The benefit

The combination of the two devices meant that Lizzie was both able to pain for longer in comfort and have more direct control over the process, becoming less reliant on Simon.

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