Monthly Archives: August 2012

Ah, August

Back for some time now, what have I been doing? Weeks ago, eager to start the mold for Cyclops, I constructed the webbing inside the head as described in Un-puzzled, and discovered it wasn’t going to work after all. Dang. If it were symmetrical and even like my sketch, it might have worked, but it is so close on the sides that there will be no room to withdraw the mold section from the interior. So I fussed over it, and concluded I’d have to cut the model apart into two pieces, mold them separately, and rejoin the pieces as waxes later. Not a problem, except I won’t be able to cast whole one-piece plastic or plaster versions. It will have to be metal, and that’s fine, simpler really. (note to self: But to be un-simple – maybe later I’ll devise a way to cast a plastic version by doing two pours on one piece, by a mold that fits onto the first poured piece and the second piece then flows onto and attaches to the first poured piece.)

I started to work on the surface treatment, very ready with a good attitude about what I wanted, but the modeling clay I use is too soft in this weather, which is still warm, low to mid 80’s, to get the detail in the material that I want. I tried to work in the basement, which is cooler, but it is too dreary when it is so nice outside. Now I’ve had two false starts of resuming work on this piece, and I finally figure out that I should just find something else to work on for a while. there are several other projects I could be doing while the weather is still good outside and into the Fall season. Pour cement guys in molds I already have, make new molds of carved beach rock pieces, perhaps rough out another wood sculpture from a trunk section I have, or try some plein air modeling of a cabbage in the garden, seriously, I’ve been wanting to try it, and a weird equestrian sculpture I have in my head which is coming out of nowhere in relation to my usual contexts.

Besides all this, I fell into the habit of drawing from nature in my sketchbook during my vacation at the beach, something I haven’t done in decades. Saturday morning or at work during lunch I’ll try to draw a view of landscape, the larger view, in 30 minutes or so. I’m surprised how much I enjoy doing it, although they’re not much. I’m not very good, but I have a personal style to develop.

Mid-summer break

What do you really know about me? Here is something; I like to walk on the beach with my eyes shut. My feet can feel the water on one side, and the dry sand on the other, and the firm wet sand between. I can go a long way like this, feeling my way along, trusting, resting my eyes, (the hungry eyes). I’ll peek after a few minutes, just to check where I am, but I’m always fine where I am. It is so restful to do this. One day this week I walked ten miles down the beach at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, but not with my eyes shut the whole time. Wouldn’t it be great someday to do that?

While paddling with my friend K., I had this thought: Great lives are not the same as the lives of the great. The lives of the great follow a plan, tell a story and reach a goal. Great lives are made of beautiful moments of experience, without direction or conclusion. In that way, they are not novels or biographies, but are better told as small stories of wonderful moments spent of an afternoon, or a single day’s joy in glorious Nature, a brightness of shared companionship, simple contentedness, or personal achievement, known only to one’s self. Great lives are like a collection of photographs which capture the memories of the profound experiences of living itself.