By Sue Lichtenfels
“Many of us “sighted” people have a mug or glass that has a special saying on it, whether it’s our name, or ‘Have a Great Day!’… and I just thought it would be so awesome if visually impaired people could have the same type of glasses especially for them with raised dots in braille that they can read with their fingertips,” explains Kathy Keck, the artist and owner of Touched by Fantasy.
For several years, Kathy has been customizing her art with raised braille messages on wine glasses, martini glasses, coffee mugs, salt and pepper shakers, beer mugs, pilsner glasses, canister jars, and more. She calls this line of products Loving Touch Connection. The braille is also accompanied by a hand-painted design such as butterflies, grapevines, sunflowers, rainbows, and smiley faces. Here is a very truncated product list from Kathy’s website: http://www.touchedbyfantasy.com/loving_touch_connection/.
“Love My Dog” Mug $15
Palm Trees “5 o’clock Somewhere” 16 oz. Pub Glass $20
“World’s Best Grandma” Coffee Mug $15
Butterfly Wishes “Live Laugh Love” Martini glass $20
Vineyard “Cheers!” Wine glass $25
Rainbow Love “S” and “P” Set of salt & pepper shakers $20
Smiley Face “S” and “P” Set of salt & pepper shakers $15
Cardinal and Bluebird “S” and “P” salt & pepper shakers $15
Kathy welcomes custom orders based on her current designs or an idea you might have in mind to accent your décor or to create as a gift. Two years ago, Kathy created a beautiful butterfly designed decorative wedding plate for me with the names of the bride and groom and their wedding date in raised braille. She also painted me a candy jar with a lighthouse design with the brailed word, “Treats” on the lid. Those who attended the last PCB Conference in Johnstown may still have one of Kathy’s glasses with that year’s theme. She also welcomes bulk orders and is willing to negotiate large purchasing pricing.
Each Loving Touch Connection message is brailed in Grade 1 English, but French and Spanish options can be special ordered. Items are hand-painted using non-toxic paint. Although the items have been baked to adhere the paint permanently to the glassware, Kathy recommends you hand-wash to avoid the harshness of dishwasher chemicals.
Kathy has recently trademarked the Loving Touch Connection brand and launched its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lovingtouchconnection/. You can also connect with Kathy by phoning 610-657-9869 or emailing Kathy@TouchedbyFantasy.com.