Friday, December 7, 2007

Lean, Mean, Mold-Making Machine

No, it's not a fancy bar of Neutrogena soap! No, it's not a wiggly block of orange Jell-O! And, no, it's not a giant fancy piece of tangerine Jolly Rancher!

It's mold rubber--a big wiggly-jiggly-squiggly rubber version of my new Jumper plaque that Joan of Pour Horse Pottery cast for me, making it the new master from which production plaster molds can be poured, ad infinitum. Now you may be wondering what those black lines are, around his chest and neck areas, and those are the mold lines she drew in to guide me since this will be my first multi-part plaster mold I make on my own (in this case, a three part mold, with a floating inner bit). Hey--it's high time to give that learning curve a good jolt. If you don't use it, you lose it! And I have chisel at hand just in case I entomb it in the white stuff--it's like a rite of passage with plaster molding.

And this piece is big, measuring about 9.5 inches long and 6.75 inches at the widest parts, which offers a lot of space to play with glaze and technique. Joan has already glazed one, beautifully, as usual--Wow Joan! I'm positively enthralled with sculpting relief work of various kinds because I can infuse the challenges of graphic design and new ways of interpreting the equine subject that I just can't exploit with a conventional sculpture. And with my new tile press, I'm excited to dive into that aspect of sculpture. Who said playing in the mud was for kids?

And in case you're interested, feast heartily on Joan's new rosegrey Dafydd. Ay chihuahua! What a looker! I am so very fortunate to have so many talented and fabulous people in my life. It's hard to tell where the inspiration from the work, and the inspiration from those involved, begins and ends!

This shores me up as I contemplate my impending spinal surgery this month. To say I'm anxious about it would be a Godzilla-sized understatement (with jumping around and glowing spines and all--and is that Mechagodzilla and Rodan in there, too?). But necessity dictates this course of action. The only way around it, is through it. The recuperation will take six long weeks, where I can only sit upright for 20 minutes at a time, so finding new and bizarre ways to work will be an interesting exercise in new kinds of creativity. And this right when I'm to receive my new tile press!

But my wonderful hubby bought me the widescreen DVD of Ratatouille the day it came out, so I'll have ample, rotund rodents to cheer me up, well, besides the two blobular pygmy landsharks here who keep me busy enough! I think I shall fall under the ether with the image of Emile, stuffed full of grapes in all his lumpy, bumpy, blobby glory.

So Christmas here will be somber and sedate, but I'll truly have much to be thankful for and feel it more deeply this time I suspect. So many good things and exciting possibilities still to come! And gingerbread cookies--lots of them. This time of year usually leaves me with mixed emotions and an eagerness to get back to the routine, but I believe this year I shall wallow in a new, and perhaps better, sense of it. Life is like art, in a way, with each new experience, like each new creation, is a learning opportunity, and with a bit of reflection and auspicious grace, we become better for it.

So with that, I leave you with this: "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." ~Cicero

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