View Full Version : A Bad Day
01-23-2006, 07:58 PM
I suppose having a bad day happens to all sculptors from time to time.
I had it two days ago, feeling very lousy, annoyed and fustrated. And I wrote in another thread about it, partly to let off some air.
Interestingly, this morning I read an AFP press report saying according to some calculations (don't know how they do it), January 23 ranks highest for people to have a bad day.
Thus I quickly checked. For me it was Jan 21, which is close enough.
This is what I wrote:
"I am fed up. It is not my day today. :mad:
There was I, composing my story to explain why I felt mentally exhausted by the complex sculpture I have been making. And my tired hand rested on a key which kicked my story off.
Now I am back to try (typing my story) again, a break from my clay modeling of two lizards making eggs :-)
This is one of the rare occasions I feel mentally exhausted by my sculptures. It is a further development of what I tried to describe in this thread. The concept is complex consisting a number of parts. Although the main parts are done, each of the minor parts require concentration which exhausted me."
This is not a competition. I didn't write it well. But it'd be interesting to hear of your stories.
We all get frustrated sometimes. That's because sculpture is mentally, physically, emotionally and financially draining. But it's also invigorating, exciting, stimulating and the the most satisfying challenge when it works. Wouldn't life be boring without the drama of extreme contrasts?
Here are my two thoughts for you: 1. I'm attaching my smallest most humorous sculpture so far, which I did because I was frustrated with something else. I finished it on Friday. It is tiny, 3.75"x2.25"x1.5" and made of painted cast plaster. It is a stack of crackers standing on two nuts and is called "Wheat, the American staple" in recognition of the fact that huge parts of the world have other staples and of the fact that I am allergic to wheat. (I should explain that it is a stack of common American crackers, in case you don't have those where you are.) It is silly, yes, which made it perfect for the moment. 2. When things get too heavy duty, do something light for awhile. When the pendulum swings back you'll see the work anew.
01-23-2006, 08:42 PM
Oh Merlin I can sympathise with you, I know all too well the lost long posts too and it's frustrating.
Bad days.. we all get em, I can think of a few recent ones:
..My Corinthian capital fragement I was restoring, and the "stalk" on the design just would not come out the way I visualized even though I had a photo to go by. I redid it half a dozen times till it FINALLY looked right.
.. the several expensive urethane molds that tore or otherwise were crap before even using them
..The night I come home from work after a lousy day and a customer's email said their sculpture was damaged in shipping.
..The day I had to go thru claims for that and fill out paperwork, provide them with waybill copies, photos, original invoice, everything but mom's bloodtype and an autopsy report.
Last week after recently going down to a 40 hour work week, and I started to think it would work well for me to give me more time on my own stuff and the paycheck hit was only about $50- we are told we will be going BACK to the 45 hour week, so now I'm back to 45 hours again...
01-25-2006, 12:26 PM
Merlin, kudos to you for once again inspiring the community to think and explore issues which aint pretty. Of course everyone has bad days due to events outside of our control. That's life. What I find interesting is the idea of bad days specifically due to sculpture. I must agree with Jaz. One of the primary reasons I continue to pursue stone carving is the challenge. I dont wish to come across as arrogant, just to note that God was generous with the gifts. I am a high ability person, due to God's grace. Anyway, the point is that stone sculpture is one endeavor in which I can exert absolutely everything I've got as a human being, exhaust all of my inner resources, and still fail. Numerous times I have failed to render a composition such that it meets my own standards. I fail to do justice to the inspiration and the vision. This I usually attribute to lack of skill. Sometimes it is a lack of visual thinking skill, sometimes it is a lack of carving skill. Because the challenge is so great, and failure is always possible, when it works, when I can stand back as the dust settles and feel quiet pride at whatever has been carved, well, that feeling is the greatest. Better than sex, better than drugs, better than anything. I feel it is a great privelege and and an honor to bring some measure of beauty into the world. Everytime a sculpture breaks, or turns out ugly, my heart breaks with it. There are bad days, yes, but the good days are worth it.
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