The idea for my new Talishand series came from an image of a Surrealist artwork I saw during a mini art history course this summer at Glassell School of Art. While I didn't catch the artist, the image was from the cover of a Surrealist magazine from the height of the movement, about 100 years ago, and it showed a head coming out of the tip of a hand.
That soon morphed into my own series, where I'm placing symbols that are meaningful to me on the tips of the middle fingers. I use a hand mold from my 2015 Certificate show at Glassell as a beginning. I then place an ascending symbol on the middle finger, with a related grounding symbol of the base of the hand.
Sometimes the base symbol is a simple eye, inspired by my trip to Greece this spring, as on this Crow Talishand. Other times, the two symbols are more closely related, such as a wing with a nest, or a butterfly with a pupae.
I came up with a blend of shiny glaze and matt underglaze to provide a translucent, hopefully skin-like surface for the hand. I put slip on thick to create crackles, which I love, then finish with other glazes, underglazes and oxides. Sometimes I use ink after firing as a final detail.
After creating about six different Talishand compositions, I'm taking a break to work on some large sculpture pieces for a show this fall at the Silos' big atrium gallery. I'm looking forward to revisiting the Talishands this fall, with skulls, marigolds and other symbols inspired by Day of the Dead traditions.
For now, five Talishands are displayed in the window at my studio, #211 in The Silos.
Happy rest of the summer!