Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hope Against Hope

...or, hope from despair. First email this morning was a rejection from Shigaraki. Not a huge surprise but you know how it feels.

I forced myself to go into claylab this morning and pulled out a couple of sculptures I've been working on, both of which I have been unsettled about, "Heart's Portal to Nature" and "Finding Flow," both of which I've written about here.

Heart's Portal took a turn for the worse as I daubed it with viscous polyurethane. The results were predictable. But I went in earlier this week with a very hard stainless steel brush I'd bought recently. And just brushed away at the surface, creating tiny fissures and in some places pulling away the finish. The result is a smooth, buff finish that I have some pictures of, but I don't want to post surface "moments" just now. They are the least of my problem and I don't want to get hung up on closeups when it's form I'm mostly concerned about.

My colleague and friend Danielle Sauve commented the other day that my work is scatalogical but ironically, that I tint it in such unusual light colors. I can see what she's only natural to look at squeezed clay as....something else. But her comment bothered me, not for what she said, but because I've been hoping to put more life into the clay, something that seems to have eluded me.

Until today. I reworked "Finding Flow" by gently applying very thin, very light-colored pastels of blue, yellow, and pink. Then I waxed it and let it dry for a couple of days. Today I went in with my stainless steel brush and worked it over well, trying to highlight the linear aspects and bring it into some sort of unity.

I stopped worrying about how it stood on or with the stand, and placed it the way it seemed most natural. Voila, something worth showing.




It felt like something shifted big time. Maybe this is also because I've been worried about Lucy, who's had a lot of discomfort since her surgery. Today is the first day she's reported in pain-free and energetic.

All's well that end's well, and Shigaraki can hold on for another lifetime.

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