Monday, November 24, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Well, first of all -- here are those natches I neglected to gouge into the first piece before the second pour, in case you were confused before. The second pour went great, and now my mold is drying in the oven. The oven isn't on, it's just a drier place than the cold garage -- I just have to remember that it's in there before turning on preheat! Oh, the stink of those rubber bands could put me off Thanksgiving altogether! And again, the plugs worked perfectly! Buck-a-wah!

I have to restore the original clay (it got damaged demolding it), and then pour a rubber master mold of it. Now I should have done that before casting the plaster mold, but I'm pressed for time with Christmas around the corner, and the plaster needs to dry before I can cast from it. This way I can make minor changes, too, to ease production and to make the castings from this mold special in their rarity (a plaster cast will yield only about 30 castings).

Anyhoo -- onto the real subject of this was bound to happen. I could watch it creep up each year, really. Like a train wreck in slow motion -- I ran out of shelf space for my books! Some people collect baseball cards. Some people collect bottle caps. Some people even collect rubber bands. I collect horse picture books and equine anatomy books. It's like an addiction. My friend, Tina, gave me a joke gift -- a teeensy tiny miniature horse book, about 1 x 1 inches, because, she told me, that even though I seem to have every horse book ever printed, I certainly do not have this one! And well...she was right! I should belong to Horse Book Anonymous. "Hi, I'm Sarah, and I'm a horse bookaholic,"....Hi, Sarah." One would think, "
Geez, ya weirdo, do you really need all those books?" And my answer is, "Heck yeah!"

I truly use each and every one in some fashion, at some point. Aside from the inspiration, each image offers a different insight into the movement, physics, spirit and anatomy of this beautiful animal, and also a new take on the human perception of him, too. Likewise, each anatomy book has a different perspective, or some fascinating morsel of information the others lack -- no anatomy book can be taken at face value, or regarded in seclusion. I have reams of horse magazine and calendar clippings organized into binders according to motion that I'm constantly using for reference, as well. Besides hours of life study, these things are an essential supplement to anatomy books because, we have to remember, anatomy books are depictions of dead horses! An artist needs to be well-versed not only in anatomy, but in the eccentric nature of the flesh and physics, the play of motion and emotion, the energy of the moment and immediacy, and the profundity and soul of the individual, otherwise she risks a kind of lifeless sculptural formula that seems to sap all that is sublime and energizing about this animal. But when your shelves are stacked disasters, being able to access these resources becomes, well, tiresome.

So we took a trip to an office supply store on Saturday for a bigger, taller bookshelf for my picture books, and Hubby put it together that night (what a trooper!). Now, you know when you start something, and about a quarter of the way through, you realize that what you thought was a "quickie chore" is actually a waaaaay bigger project than you anticipated? After the 8th load of lead-like books piled onto the bed, I realized, "Crimony! I'm going to be at this all day!" And so it was -- load after load of books and binders were piled on our bed, so heavy I thought it would snap through the floor boards!

It didn't end there, though. I decided (of course) to rearrange my studio somewhat so I could use that discarded shelf in the studio rather than moving it into the storage barn, which meant pulling everything out and on top of of all my cabinets and shelves (of course), cleaning them, moving things around, and then piling everything back in. It didn't end there, however! I decided I needed to clean my entire studio, too. It was like a car out of "park," rolling ever-faster down a steep hill. Hey, it needed cleaning, but after a full day of heavy lifting and moving big, cumbersome cabinets, it probably wasn't the best idea. But when you're plowing forward, you have to keep going! Suffice to say, I was completely pooped Sunday evening. Happily though, my back was fine, but boy my arms and legs! (I'm still feeling it today!) I was in bed, snoozing away by 9pm -- super early for me! It was well worth it though --- My horse books....

Keep in mind that in the "before" shot, there are books stacked behind what you see! And yes, books spilled out on the floor was typical since there just wasn't any more room! Now my anatomy books...
My newly cleaned painting station (below, which you may remember from my very first blog post! On there is an old commission on a lovely Brioso I'm painting for nth time -- I finally have the technique down to pull this color off how I want it):
...and sculpting station (below):

The two cabinets together (below, the left one holds my reference binders, and the right one holds my anatomy books...the TV is constantly playing Mystery Science Theater, and the dedicated microwave is for heating clay to soften it for sculpting)...

After a good vacuum, phew...a clean, newly functional studio, ready to be destroyed again by the ravages of creativity!

"I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom." ~Thomas Carlyle

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