Hello from China

June 20, 2010

I am in Nan qui, Pu Dong district, not far from Shanghai writing this in the middle of the night as I am wide awake with some jet lag...:) This is a farming community, with some residential and some small industry (like our workshop to enlarge sculpture and prepare for casting).

Here are photos of the big sitting figure I'm working on on this trip......at first when i see it this big I am startled, and feel estranged from it...then gradually working on it, carving, shaping, adding plaster, it is becoming more friendly and familiar to me. It's my challenge to make it come alive.

Another work day in China

We got a lot done today. I am working with a young Chinese man (whose name is Liu but is called Andy. Everyone has an English name. I said then I should have a Chinese name, so he named me Da Jie which means "big sister"! ) With all the plaster we have added, the figure is very heavy now and has to be moved with a fork lift. I've learned a lot of Chinese words, like bucket, plaster, knife, "a little bit", and beautiful. (This is my style of learning as these words are repeated all day long!)

100 lifetimes' worth of cups

June 22, 2010

I was moved out into the main area of this industrial building where I can work and see the figure from a distance. At the end of the day a truck load of styrofoam was delivered. That's what my enlarged form was cut out of, after my original clay piece was scanned. Some karma. It has been one of my pet peeves to use styrofoam cups because the stuff lasts forever and it seems so wasteful. Now here I am using enough styrofoam in one figure to make 100 lifetime's worth of cups!

Bear Paw

June 23, 2010

I've been struggling with that hand all day. Had to ask the guys that were helping me to give me the day alone to work it out. You can see it's still not right. Looks like a bear paw. Over all though I'm really beginning to like this figure.

I wore that white apron today to keep my clothes from getting covered in plaster and it got a lot of laughs. Many workers here wear aprons but this white one means chef even in China! Biscuits anyone?

Another hazy day, that's the sun setting.

Enlarging the original

June 25, 2010

It takes about 20 hours to scan the original form from four angles. This is Wallace and Helene, the awesome team who run these computers. Then they create a program to send the information to the cutting machine computer where the form is cut out of styrofoam in any size you want. Traditionally, enlarging was done by measuring in to the form from plumb lines at four corners, an even more time consuming task.

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