Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving turkey...not to eat!

Posted by Lucy 
Yesterday (Thanksgiving), I made this little guy. So seasonal. I gave him a tour of the house, and we had a blast...   
...until he saw the calendar.   
"Come out," I said, "I would never eat you. You'd only make a mouthful anyway."

"But what about your little sister's dolls, or your little brothers' GI Joes? I'd make a nice feast for them!"

I finally convinced him that he was in no danger of being eaten, but he was awfully nervous for the rest of the day.  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thoughts on thankfulness

If I am thankful for the good in my life, the good truly benefits me. I have the joy of it. I embrace it to myself and it defines me. The more I am thankful for, the more I see to be thankful for, and my joy and contentment grow, even in the presence of sorrow and difficulty.

If  I don't take note of the good with thankfulness, I stand away from that good. It should be mine, but I don't really have it. I am defined instead by the lack which is all I am taking note of.  I don't receive the good until I step toward it with open arms of gratitude.

Without thankfulness, I starve in the midst of plenty, because I am not partaking of the feast God is always setting.

We can never know how rich we are until we say thank you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Smaller wax bishop's cross

I'm finally done this wax model, maybe mostly. I took days longer than I expected. I thought it would be easy, having carved this design before in a larger size. But when I reduced the size I blithely changed some of the side-view proportions, which opened up some new expressive possibilities, which led to lots of rethinking. I'm not good at leaving well-enough alone. 

This wax is tricky stuff for me to photograph, because it's shiny and irregularly translucent. The different colors are different consistencies of wax. The blue is flexible and hard to break. I carved the basic shape out of blue wax. I then made some corrections with molten green wax, which flows better than the blue when melted. I put in final details with a purple wax that flows beautifully and takes details easily, but is also easy to break.

From here we go to the silversmith, who will create multiple castings.

Friday, November 15, 2013

November is beautiful sometimes

I've been indoors much too much this fall, but as I sat down to be an artist this sunny, not too cold afternoon, all I could think of was going for a walk. So I walked. The sky was perfectly bright blue, but the light and air were soft. The oak leaves smelled like tea and were loud, almost clattering, beneath my feet.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another cross

I am carving a new crucifix smaller than the bishop's cross but with a similar design. (The little bird ornaments I showed  a bit ago are on hold.) It won't be a one of a kind piece this time. Multiple copies will be made--I hope in time for Christmas.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wisdom for artists

I recently re-read the book Plain and Simple: a Woman's  Journey to the Amish by Sue Bender, an artist who sought among the Amish wisdom and groundedness she lacked. I love this conversation she had with a non-Amish friend:

"'What counts, Sue, is not the results," said Tino, my dear friend from Sardinia, a sculptor, a poet, a wise man. "Final products are never satisfactory because the potentialities of a person are never realized.'

'Then what is satisfying?'

'It is the enjoyment of every step of the process of doing: everything, not only the isolated piece we label art. If accomplishing is the only goal, all that it takes to reach that goal is too slow, too fatiguing--an obstacle to what you want to achieve. If you want to rush to the accomplishment, it is an inevitable disappointment. Then you rush to something else. The disappointment is reaped over and over again. But if every step is pleasant, then the accomplishment becomes even more, because it is nourished by what is going on.'

I needed to hear his words.

'All the stages of one's work have a poetic nature," he continued. 'No-one gets paid for keeping his own tools cleaned. It is an act of real art; otherwise you don't have a rapport with the tool; then it becomes a rebellious servant, not respected, not properly handled. If you don't appreciate its weight and be aware of the balance, one day or another it is going to hit your finger.'"  (pages 84 and 85)