Lisa J. Murphy Previous Work Tactile Hamster

Yes, it really is a tactile thermoform hamster (side view).

Believe it.

Lisa J. Murphy

Tactile Mind Studio Limited

Artist /Author  of tactile mind: A book of nude (3-D) photographs for the blind / vision impaired.

Artist / Author of  tactile atelier bookmark: A set of four photographs for the blind / vision impaired.


Lisa J. Murphy Previous Work Tactile Snail

Found this tactile thermoform page in a box. I believe it’s a type of sea snail.

I created the original sculpture using diagramming foil.

Lisa J. Murphy

Tactile Mind Studio Limited

Artist / Author of tactile mind: A book of nude (3-D) photographs for the blind / vision impaired.

Artist / Author of tactile atelier bookmark: A set of four photographs for the blind / vision impaired.


Reasons for everyone to purchase ‘tactile mind’ the book or individual pages.

tactile mind: A book of nude (3-D) photographs for the blind and vision impaired.

(Because I know a few people out there need convincing-) by Lisa J. Murphy

tactile mind (pages and book ) makes a great gift for any occasion.

This book is handmade by myself from home in about 150 feet of space. My thermoform machine sits inbetween windows for best air-flow, surrounded by tables with the master diagrams and the thermoform plastic tactile copies . (My apartment is currently a disaster area of artwork. shipping supplies, and dirty dishes).

Each book is signed and numbered, and because of the hand-made nature of the project, each book and the individual diagrams are a little bit different – no two are the same.

It’s the self-published indie book that’s received world recognition.There was  no financial backing or publishing house in the background. It was merely me, throwing down a few million pounds of wings and even more jugs of draft, to try to make enough money to produce this. At this point, I believe every country in the world has run press regarding ‘tactile mind’, every time I search the internet, there are  more articles on this project. Even though I’ve been misquoted about a million times, I am really happy this book has started a dialogue  about “equalizing” people with disabilities of any sort. It’s amazing how in this day and age there are still so many generalizations about people with disabilities.We are all human, we all have needs, and wants, and dislikes.

A few of my favorite press/interviews (right now, off the top of my head) include: CNN, BBC World Service, “Q”CBC, ABC, Michel Comte, Jay Thomas Show (Howard Stern Network), Rachel Ray, The Daily Telegraph, The National Post, Global T.V., AOL, (and  there are so many others!).  I have talked to so many amazing journalists from all over the world in the past month, since the story launched with The Toronto Star.

Sighted, vision impaired, or blind – this book (and pages) are great to touch! I’ve watched people grab it and start feeling the pages. And so many people have different opinions of this work. It’s been called everything from erotic and pornographic, to crap. It’s just a cool book of my photographs, done in a style to make my work more accessible.


A couple photos and description of hand-pressing/thermoforming Bullet Belt Diagram 13 from ‘tactile mind’ the book.

Just a couple pictures of me (Lisa J. Murphy) pressing pages of  tactile mind at home.  For those who have  a vision impairment or blindness, or anyone who is simply curious; I will give you a quick description. In the two pictures, I am putting the master copy Braille page of  Diagram 13/ Bullet Belt onto the thermoform machine. I am laying the page within the confines of the machine;  the base and frame of  the thermoform machine  is layered in tape to get the best suction.  Soon I lay a piece of thermoform plastic on top, press the edges down with the frame, pull the heat source over the diagram and the plastic, the vacuum suction goes – and voila!  A  3-D thermoform diagram page.

Sounds really easy. In reality many things can go wrong. The diagram, for starters can break –  but that is the worst case scenario. Lately, I’ve had a couple problems in my master pages with a knee cap dislodging , a couple nipples coming loose, a background shredding, hearts moving, and a vagina crumbling. Nothing major, very fixable – just general wear and tear on the images.

Also, my trusty thermoform machine can be a little tempermental. I just give her lots of time to heat up, and some break periods throughout days when I’m printing.


What was the process for creating tactile diagrams for ‘tactile mind’?

For her tactile diagrams, Lisa began with an idea of what she would like to photograph, and who. She would make the majority of  masks and costumes from household goods, grab a subject, dress them up, and start shooting with 35mm film and her trusty manual Nikon. When she received her photographs back from the lab, Lisa would then decide which one might work the best for tuning into a tactile diagram and would go from there.

1. Lisa would enlarge the photograph to a size she would want to work with.

2.Lisa would then layer and build the photograph upwards with clay, metal,cardboard, string – anything that wouldn’t burn or give off toxic fumes at high heat.

3. This diagram would then go into an oven to bake/set – hopefully not breaking / cracking with the heat.

4. Out of the oven, the diagram would cool and then be placed in the thermoform machine with a piece of heavy Braillon (aka. thermoform plastic) on top – hopefully not breaking / cracking with the heat.

5. 3-D imprint is made into the plastic, and the page is taken to a blind proofreader for feedback.

6. Steps 2-5 then repeated until diagram is done to the best of her abilities, and is completely understandable by a proofreader(s); correctly depicting her photograph.

-Each image would take approximately 50 hours in total; from conception to completion.