I realized that I needed to practice with some technique before I could move forward with the larger handprint ideas. An image of layering and depth was coming to mind, so I started putting pieces together to craft my vision.

First, the background. Working with text, pages, images of past, one type of reality – science, I layered pages from an old Biology textbook onto a piece of plywood. Then I obscured that language with a layer of natural handmade japanese paper, sheer, soft, textured – not texted. I used Nori – a Japanese paste used in printmaking to thicken ink and glue paper – to adhere each layer.

Then, I cut two pieces of plexiglass to the same shape of the plywood, and started layering: hands, paper, plexiglass – a clear and protective layer. Since this was a test piece, I didn’t try to get too complex – I just placed 4 handprints in between varying layers of Plexi.

Finally, I clamped all of the layers together and drilled holes into each corner, all the way through each layer, and then bolted the layers together. This too was a learning experience: since I didn’t clamp close enough to the drilling location, the plexiglass had room to move up and down as the drill went in, and the top layer cracked a little. If you look closely at the top corners, you can see it. Here’s the finished product:

And for kicks, some trivia:

Plexiglass is the marketing name for Poly(methyl methacrylate) – PMMA! Some interesting facts about Plexiglass that artists might care about, brought to you by Wikipedia: PMMA a is strong and lightweight material. It also has good impact strength, higher than both glass and polystyrene. PMMA transmits up to 92% of visible light (3 mm thickness). It filters ultraviolet light at wavelengths below about 300 nm (similar to ordinary window glass).