The Smoking Hand
Plaster, Alginate, Hands
Throughout the course of this project, I was faced with adversity on many occasions. From problematic soap carving to casting disasters, this project proved to be a challenge. However, I was able to accomplish what I set out to do.
“The true face of smoking is disease, death and horror – not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray.” -David Byrne. I was able to portray an evil in the world (smoking) by carving a bar of soap into a lighter and a cigarette and casting and plastering my hand to hold the cigarette.
In the carving process, I had trouble shaping the soap into a thin enough cylinder to form a cigarette without breaking it but after going through many bars of soap,I was finally able to perfect it. Forming the lighter proved difficult as well. My first attempt came out far too small and my second attempt came out broken. It wasn’t until my third attempt that I formed the perfect lighter. I also added a piece of wire which connected the flint to the shaft. Finally, after gluing the fingers back to my finished piece, I photographed the hand in three different lights and photoshopped in a black background.
Through the duration of this project, one of the things that I did well was bounce back from failure. I learned that in sculpture making and in life in general, it is important to make mistakes and to learn from them. Similarly to this, in Econ, we have learned how the strength and weakness of the economy is all as a result of mistakes made and mistakes corrected. I thought it was interesting how ideas formed from creating a small handheld sculpture could be applied to the real world.
In the future, I would like to cast singular fingers and display them separately. I am intrigued by the detail in which the hands came out, but underwhelmed by the difficulty of casting and plastering a full hand.
Overall, smoking has become less of an evil in everyday life in terms of marketing schemes and awareness. This is due to extensive research to unveil the bads of cigarettes and nicotine. Unfortunately, there is a long way to go. Although this piece will not remove cigarettes from store fronts or cure lung cancer, it represents a small piece in the constantly evolving fight against smoking.