In myriad cultures, the thumb suggests the phallus, male or female, depending on the hand gesture. In palmistry, the opposable digit represents the will, revealing the very nature of its proprietor. In any case, the thumb is a sensual member, maybe not so much for its wrinkled sausage looks as for its touch. The voluptuous padding on the tip of the first finger senses temperature, contact, pressure, vibrations, and pain. It can detect a dot 3 microns high (the diameter of a human hair is 50 to 100 microns). It’s easy to understand how such a sensitive, paddle-tipped instrument becomes a sculptor’s most important tool.