What Is It About Hands?

Mom looking at the cast
of her hand.

What is it about a hand that is so intriguing to me? Being a kinesthetic person touch has always been important, as a sculptor they are the tool that I use the most the venue from which the passion, empathy and love comes through my subject into my heart and is to be shared with others.

Mom’s hand coming out of the mold.

I have done studies of hands, sculpted them, and created some odd pieces surrounding the hand. Actually they are my most contemporary sculptures. Hand L was one. I found an old window, took a study of a hand that I created and secured it to the window. My daughter, then about 4 years old, had magnetic letters. I glued the purple L in the hand. Get it Hand L! Through the glass in the window I Xeroxed my face peeking through gingham. It was a strange piece, and I am not sure who bought it, but I know when they did they loved it! I thought about creating an entire series of sculptures with hands, similar to Hand L.

Last week I had to fly to the North East because my mother was ill and my family needed me. I had purchased hand casting materials and had it on hand, no pun intended, incase this type of trip should happen. I packed the alginate, and knew I would have to have some plaster, as alginate molds will disintegrate quickly and you must cast within 24 hours or sooner. I thought it might be a good idea to also pack some hydrastone though I was not sure if the airline would allow large baggies of white powder to go through in my suitcase. Low and behold my suitcase was 5 pounds over. I beamed the attendant, “ I know what ways 5 pounds.” You should have seen her face when I took out the baggie of white powder. I told her what it was and talked to four other security people about taking it on the plane, everyone said, “take it out of your carry on, put it onto of your shoes, they will know what plaster is.” Yeah right. They confiscated my hydrastone. The head guy said, “I don’t know if it is plaster.” My sister suggested that I should have gotten a cup of water and taken a few minutes and mixed some up for him- hindsight! I was a little nervous they might detain me and then my poor mother would be waiting in the hospital, so I did not push the matter.

Besides taking care of mother, I was a casting fool. I have a great cast of my father’s hand, and one of my mothers hand. I also cast my nieces’ hand along with her fiancé’s. My mom and her significant other also let me cast their hands together. Everyone was a trooper.

I had the hands sent UPS. They have yet to come. But I can’t wait to get these. They will be one of my prized possessions.

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