Texture and revealing the spirit

August 25, 2013

The shapes look wonderful to me, full and rounded. But it is very difficult to really see the surfaces now because of the newly worked shiny places next to the dark areas. The figures are cast in a number of parts which are welded together. All those seams have to be ground down and blended with the original textures. It can be difficult to make in metal a texture that is like the one we made in plaster.

My heart sinks when I see the big ladies at this point but I have been through this many times before and I know not to get freaked out about how bad the surfaces look right now! Each little issue, one by one, gets worked on until it is solved. Slowly the piece moves from being a big piece of metal (as it looks to me now!) to holding and revealing it's spirit more and more fully. This is my challenge for the next 10 days here. After the initial shock, I'm feeling happy and excited to be here, working on these babies!

Clay is my home

August 30, 2013

There is a lot of loud banging, grinding, welding, and dusty fumey HOT air in this workshop as there are a number of other projects going on along with my big ladies. They are building a 25 foot tall metal structure sculpture by a Belgium artist, by bending huge pieces of I beams and rods ... not quiet! I am out there often in all that with my earplugs, though I've done most of my work on my pieces in the early morning or during their 2 hour siesta time.

Gratefully, there is a quiet small back room that is kept air-conditioned where a young newly hired art student, Xiao Wuu, is working on some projects in clay! We came to liking each other immediately and it has been my refuge to play with clay here. He teaches me Chinese words and I teach him English, all with a lot of laughs. Many of the guys, one by one, come back in here to cool off and joke around for a few minutes. Even the old guy who is doing the landscaping came in to sit down for awhile.

I've been making more pods, pods, pods. Woa xi huan niiba! (I love clay!)

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