I found the studio space and had the idea, essentially, to look at the relationship between an environment and its waste. There aren't many forests in Brooklyn, so I decided to start with the detritus of the city. I intended to take wood strewn around or discarded-- pieces that seemingly would not be recycled or reused any time soon if ever-- and re-purpose them to make them useful again. The hand, for me, is one of the most useful natural tools, so I decided the sculpture should take the form of an unfurling hand. Upon completion, I want to place it in a gritty area, ideally on the streets and lots where I found the wood, back in its original environment.
As dirty as these pieces are sometimes, I get goosebumps when I cut through a solid board. The fresh smell of wood sends chills down my spine, and when I open my eyes and look at the grain, I melt a little bit. On the other hand, I've also cut into wood, for example old flooring, and been accosted by the smell of rotten fish and guts. Still used the wood... the smell dissipates with time.
Without the tools it was slow going at first, I really didn't have a concrete plan on how to take huge chunks of wood and make a 6ft sculpture resembling a hand. So I started with a bunch of clamps and some wood glue and set out to make a base. I then made plans based around this base.