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  #1  
Old 11-13-2010, 11:51 AM
Biomorph Biomorph is offline
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second guessing

I'm not sure anyone around here would admit to it, but I'll ask anyway. How many have reworked a piece that was set aside as finished but that came to dissatisfy you as you looked at it over an extended period? A subsidiary question is to what extent do you deliberately set aside a piece to "cool off' for a while before you finish it. This is common practice with writers. As a further subsidiary question, how many normally work on more than one piece at a time to allow some cooling down and enforced reflection?
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:54 PM
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Re: second guessing

Yes to all.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2010, 02:40 PM
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Re: second guessing

Rarely do I rework a piece after a period of time. I do not consider that working on more than one piece at a time is a 'cooling off' period for any one of them. There have been times where I have been waiting for components to arrive and have started on another sculpture. But, I am still working on the first one, mentally. The 'pure' vision for creating a sculpture is only present for the time that you are actually mentally and physically working on it. I thrive on 'being in the moment' and finishing that thought.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2010, 04:58 PM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: second guessing

Any sculpture I make that is not yet claimed by someone else is fair game for change. I see all my work as fluid. I rework, re-finish, re-title, re-date without a second thought.

I always work on many pieces at once - often staggered over years.
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2010, 05:43 PM
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obseq obseq is offline
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Re: second guessing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biomorph View Post
I'm not sure anyone around here would admit to it, but I'll ask anyway. How many have reworked a piece that was set aside as finished but that came to dissatisfy you as you looked at it over an extended period? A subsidiary question is to what extent do you deliberately set aside a piece to "cool off' for a while before you finish it. This is common practice with writers. As a further subsidiary question, how many normally work on more than one piece at a time to allow some cooling down and enforced reflection?
You read my mind. I've just completed casting a piece, and was immediately taken to considering what I dislike about it/becoming frustrated over what I know would improve it. On the subsidiary question, I nearly wish, at times, that I can be afforded a forced "cooling off" period before completion to give myself pause. Being in a situation where rushing is necessary is a massive enemy, and most likely, fuels some of the "regret" surrounding the piece at hand. I've only worked on two pieces simultaneously, and although they're not yet complete, I'm pretty happy with them at in their current state.
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2010, 07:27 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: second guessing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biomorph View Post
I'm not sure anyone around here would admit to it, but I'll ask anyway. How many have reworked a piece that was set aside as finished but that came to dissatisfy you as you looked at it over an extended period? A subsidiary question is to what extent do you deliberately set aside a piece to "cool off' for a while before you finish it. This is common practice with writers. As a further subsidiary question, how many normally work on more than one piece at a time to allow some cooling down and enforced reflection?
If your working in the area of realistic figurative sculpture then you know there is a learning curve. It includes many things like anatomy, stylistic inventions, materials and methods of fabrication to name a few. These are the "Skills" many here talk about. The learning curve takes 5-7 years to master, depending on how dedicated you are and who your teachers are.

So in the past, I would work and rework and rework again over years…each time coming back and seeing the piece in light of my learning. I don't do this so much these days because my skill level is topping off i.e. I have gotten at a point where I am satisfied that more reworking will only marginally make a piece "better".

I do cover up a work for a month or so and then review it to insure I'm not missing anything and also to evaluate the work without emotional attachment to see if I feel it's worth taking to the next level, bronze.

G
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2010, 08:41 PM
Mack Mack is offline
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Re: second guessing

When I worked in the gallery business and sculptors would bring in figurative work they wanted to show, I could see right away that they didn't 'see' the problems that jumped right out at me. The artist does has to be his/her severest critic.
I work on a piece, satisfied for hours the way it's going. I think I have something and next morning when I walk into the studio and get my first glimpse, I see the problems that yesterday when I was head to head with it, were invisible. I've come to trust that vision, frustrating though it often is, and then set about trying to fix it. Maybe it's something that only I would notice but that doesn't matter. If it's going to be bronze, I have to be completely satisfied before I go for the mold. Because in the casting process things are going to happen to it, not always good.
Regarding older work, I can almost always see ways I could have made it better. And sometimes I have reworked a piece, dumped the old molds and cast the new version; that's what "Second State" is all about!

Last edited by Mack : 11-14-2010 at 09:21 AM.
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2010, 11:12 AM
rika rika is offline
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Re: second guessing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biomorph View Post
I'm not sure anyone around here would admit to it, but I'll ask anyway. How many have reworked a piece that was set aside as finished but that came to dissatisfy you as you looked at it over an extended period? As a further subsidiary question, how many normally work on more than one piece at a time to allow some cooling down and enforced reflection?
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Forge View Post
The 'pure' vision for creating a sculpture is only present for the time that you are actually mentally and physically working on it. I thrive on 'being in the moment' and finishing that thought.
I'm with The Forge on this one. I can only whole heartedly commit to the one I'm working on. But the type of sculpture I make demands that. If I had to go back to it after a cooling off period it would feel like reheated leftovers. Fortunately there's a time limit for how long my medium can be manipulated, which makes for a more intense engagement. I like that. Materials that allow for endless "corrections" and changes don't necessarily yield a more successful sculpture. Overworking is always a threat. I do see the mistakes in my older work but I look at them as milestones of my progress. One should not be ashamed of the physical proof of their evolvement. For this reason I rarely trash work. I like to see where I was in order to reflect on where to go.

I guess a lot depends on whether one is a more intuitive or conceptual/intellectual type artist as well. If you allow intuition into your work, the heat of the moment dictates much of the path you're taking.
At the same time I have the highest respect for artists that create work that feels spontaneous but is the result of tedious labour in the hope of achieving perfection. Degas' bathing women are high on that list.
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2010, 01:33 PM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: second guessing

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Originally Posted by rika View Post
I guess a lot depends on whether one is a more intuitive or conceptual/intellectual type artist as well.
Careful Rika, don't fall into the mire of thinking those terms are mutually exclusive.
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2010, 01:39 PM
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Re: second guessing

The work that I usually do is the result of weeks or months of work, and on occasion years of work. Although I have been engaged on some of these with total focus from start to finish with no other projects concurrently diverting my attention, it is also helpful in the process to step away and see it with a fresh eye, over time.

There are also a number of non-commissioned works in my studio that I have begun and even taken to near completion, and then dropped due to the need to focus on commissioned work. When I return to these after a long time away, it is with fresh insights and perspective, and at the same time like renewing an aquaintance with an old friend.

I don't usually have the difficulty of tuning into the "pure vision". It is more a matter of choosing which project to focus on. Once that decision is made, I'm right there, and the process is fresh.
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2010, 02:02 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: second guessing

In architecture we had a saying, "Design is a spin off of time" that is, at some point you have to stop. Knowing when you have arrived at that point is an art form in itself.

There is a lot of art I personally find "Great " that requires little or no special skill. As Rika suggested "Created in the heat of the moment" For example, here is a piece from Picasso thats required no classical skill but I love it. As Reis suggested in an earlier thread, art can be many things like conceptual, intellectual, abstract, found stuff etc. On the other hand, there is a large and growing public that loves highly skilled figurative sculpture. So in that regard more skill (for those sculptors) is a good thing as is taking the time to get it right.

Lanteri said " Our study ceases when by some trick we polish the clay of try to give it color. It is lost time, an utter waste of time ! You may spend your life in working like this and you will never make any progress. You must on the contrary, so to speak, dissect the form, and penetrate it in order to understand it. A pleasing surface will come at a later stage" He is talking about highly skilled figurative sculpture.

G
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2010, 10:56 AM
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Re: second guessing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biomorph View Post
How many have reworked a piece that was set aside as finished but that came to dissatisfy you as you looked at it over an extended period?
It's pretty rare when I have to wait more than a few minutes for dissatisfaction to set in.

It's all just one big wip towards the big one and that's all there is to that..
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:03 PM
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bluedogshuz bluedogshuz is offline
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Re: second guessing

I have found myself over the last month and a half forcing myself to create because I was on a four and a half year binge of self absorption and did nothing. I agree with forge the way I work is in the heat of the moment. I work from plans with constructions but have no problem changing placement when putting the pieces together. Making decisions on light, shadow, form interaction etc. then I finish it. Start with a plan, use intuition, then complete. I always say I will go back to it to perfect and never do! I am NEVER satisfied with a piece.
I start something new (however) it is uncanny how close the new piece resembles an unresolved problem from the previous one. How messed up is that process???!!!??
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2010, 04:38 PM
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Re: second guessing

Hi, I occasionally put a piece aside and start something new, sometimes they get reworked and finished to satisfaction later and at other times they end up in the scrap pile. Yeah bluedog, ditto to all of that except that I don't usually work from finished drawings, just rough sketches. That way, I'm not just a welder.
I think that's probably what you do also.
The next piece is always the best one.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2011, 08:51 AM
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desertrock desertrock is offline
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Re: second guessing

I've reworked many pieces after mounting was complete.
I'll work up to 4 or 5 pieces together through each phase of the process, at first because I would inevitably break one. Moving on to another piece already in process softens the disappointment, and also allows me a fresh look at the "cooled" piece.
There are some "direct carving" works that have been started but have become obsolete as they stood in line. Their presence is useful in reminding me that the process for that style evokes more change so I'm careful not to get too far ahead.
More often though, a finished work is the creative catalyst for the next.

Mark
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:14 PM
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Re: second guessing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biomorph View Post
I'm not sure anyone around here would admit to it, but I'll ask anyway. How many have reworked a piece that was set aside as finished but that came to dissatisfy you as you looked at it over an extended period? A subsidiary question is to what extent do you deliberately set aside a piece to "cool off' for a while before you finish it. This is common practice with writers. As a further subsidiary question, how many normally work on more than one piece at a time to allow some cooling down and enforced reflection?
I don't and won't rework a finished piece. If I am dissatisfied with it at that stage, I start a new piece. The reason for that, is that the next piece will inevitably be better than the first. I've tested this time and again, so for me, that's what works.

Often, I set pieces aside for a time. However, the reasons vary at times. If I am having difficulty with some aspect of the piece, technical or otherwise, I will set it aside deliberately and not look at it for a week, or a few months, usually no longer. If it's longer, it means I'm not satisfied at all and have abandoned the piece. Setting a piece aside for a short time, allows for greater clarity of vision and gives me the time to resolve the problem I was having with it. When I look at it again, it's much clearer what to do. The other reasons I set pieces aside vary completely from this.

I always have several pieces on the go. It's a struggle to keep it reasonable, as more works come to mind and I try to be disciplined in focusing on a reasonable number at the same time. As I've said, if I leave them too long, I see too many flaws and then abandon them. Reflecting on the work never feels forced for me. It's an interesting and often enjoyable experience.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:05 PM
tomdanahy tomdanahy is offline
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Re: second guessing

I have set pieces aside when I become frustrated that I am not getting to where I want to go or when "life" interfered (I am not a "full time" sculptor).

Coming back weeks to years later, it was a refreshed and refreshing experience.

As regards more than one work, the best advice I ever got was to work on more than one piece and change off after an hour or so. The sculptor who told me this said sticking with one piece longer you bog down in the minutia; can't see the forest for the trees; which I now agree with. Switching off and returning later that day or a few days later is to approach with fresh eyes and refreshed and excited to be back to it.

As I work in bronze and wood, changing materials is also a good thing, changing as one told me from being an additive to a subtractive sculptor. One a "freer" the other a more disciplined exercise.
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