I don’t remember what made me bring this plaster hand that my best friend gave me to a church basement kitchen in the suburbs of Chicago, but I did and this photograph is what I came up with.
I made several images with the hand because of the tile floor. It was very new which made it very contrasty and I love contrast when I can get it. But it was so utterly and graphically black and white, that when I pulled out one of the drawers and put the plaster hand in it, the idea came to me that you see here. From there, it was just an exercise in using the type tool in Photoshop.
I guess I was pretty lucky no one from the church ambled by while I was shooting this B&W sight gag. They would have glanced in there and seen me kneeling on all fours on their new checkerboard floor, photographing a big, white plaster hand in one of their kitchen drawers. I’d like to think I would have been talked about at the “pie and coffee, after service fellowship” on Sunday. “What was that man doing in there?” Why was he on his hands and knees photographing a plaster hand in our kitchen?” “Did he have any plaster feet with him?” I wonder what they’d make of this image?
I like the hand. It’s been in my life now for quite some time and it’s inspiring to me for some odd reason. I like to hold the hand. It reminds me (when I place my hand in it’s grasp) of how my father’s large and muscular hand felt in my hand as a little boy. I like that it weighs a couple of pounds and is fragile. Made of plaster of Paris, it can break very easily. Afterwords I found out that a large gypsum deposit at Montmartre in Paris led gypsum plaster to be commonly known as “plaster of Paris” But the gesture of the hand is beautiful to me and lends strength to the sculpture as well.
I did make this image while recovering from Achilles repair and at the time I was thinking about a funny image for Halloween. Turns out, I got too busy with other things and forgot to post it.
Workflow as usual: RAW to Camera Raw to Lightroom to Photoshop