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chipping away at my shoulder

My sculpting class puts too much focus on precision. It's clay - think abstraction, creativity. Maybe the scale's wrong on the original object, maybe my proportions are better.

And the object we're putting so much work into is a rock. We're shaping clay to look like rocks, as though we don't have enough rocks in this world we have to make some more.

My instructor refuses to see the wisdom of this outlook.

Clay does not feel good when it dries on your hands. I had to drop everything and scrub them clean a dozen times during the three-hour session. Each time, I grew more reluctant to touch my work in progress, instead seeking out tools to protect me. They didn't work.

Currently weighing the various merits of discipline over simply dropping the class and never looking back.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
technomonkey
Jan. 16th, 2002 08:08 am (UTC)
You're in a sculpting class?
I didn't know you were in any classes at all.

I'd say neat, but your post clearly destroys that illusion....
self
Jan. 16th, 2002 11:11 am (UTC)
Heh
"Neat" works. It's new and exciting, even if I hate every moment of it.
celovires
Jan. 16th, 2002 10:13 am (UTC)
What if you were to get a new teacher....just a thought...that is if you can get past the clay drying on your hands...
self
Jan. 16th, 2002 11:08 am (UTC)
false expectations aren't always a good thing
This is a course over at the local community college. It has an advantage over private instruction in that it's really cheap, but arts funding being what it is, there's only one teacher available. Unless I'm willing to commute to another school, anyway - it'd be about a 20 minute drive. Unfortunately, I think that would make me even less inclined to stick with this - I don't feel safe on the road. (got an eye doctor appointment later today, though. a pair of glasses might change that)

As for the clay drying on my hands thing, that's just frustrating. For about a year now, I've felt that some missing element to my life would be solved by just sticking my hands in some clay and shaping it to my will. It's active, creative, there's immediate feedback, you get your hands dirty. That was really the point, but when I finally get what I want, it turns out I can't handle it.
The immediate gratification stuff, I think I have a valid complaint on. Three hours trying to make an identical copy of a rock just isn't satisfying. I don't feel any sense of accomplishment at having completed the assignment, and it's diminished further by having the instructor decide that it's not complete after all.

When I'm writing music, I can sit at the piano for days reworking the same few seconds over and over. I drove my roommates crazy with that back in college. When I'm writing a story, I can spend weeks crafting a single paragraph. Photo manipulation? 3D Modeling? Animation? Months could go by without me noticing. But if I don't care about the final product, every minute is excruciating.
That doesn't bother me half as much as the feeling of dry clay on my hands. It bothers me because I need my hands for all of the activities listed above. Any deviation from the norm is going to be bad - I freak out when they grow numb from the cold. But knowing that's where the problem lies just makes it worse. It bothers me because I'm the incompatible element.

There's nothing wrong with the class. It's just me.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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