Happy New Year!

This is it. The last week of winter break before my last semester as an art student. As with last week’s post, I don’t have a lot to share, but I will do my best.

As usual for the holidays (holidaze?) much of the time flew by without me paying much attention. We had guests over a couple of times, and hid in the house at other points. Once again the Canadian fascination with fireworks bothered me and — most importantly!— the dogs, who hate them. New Year’s celebrations in North Vancouver seem to include a lot of firecrackers going off around midnight, even in the rain. The dogs despise that. We did a double feature movie night to keep them from hearing some of it, starting with The Hudsucker Proxy, and finishing with When Harry Met Sally. Both are NYE movies at some level, and the TV being on helps keep the dogs calmer in the face of certain doom in the form of loud, banging noises from outside.

I made no progress on my short story, but I still have a few less structured days left. I might yet work on it.

I did do a bunch of tax season preparation. Being an American living in Canada has all kinds of consequences on the income tax front (among other things) and I know I will have zero time to spend on that once classes get going. So I did the annual file rotation and other stuff that becomes possible on and after January 1. My wife and the accountant will deal with the rest later, and I hope I am off the hook at this point.

In terms of art, I have done nothing at all. Sorry.

That said, I did continue to ponder the advanced ceramics class that gets started on Monday afternoon. Last term we were instructed to find things to make sprig moulds with over the break, and to bring whatever we come up with along on the first day of class. Sprigs — as I might previously have explained — are decorative bits of clay formed in moulds of one sort or another and attached to a ceramic object being made. I finally raided my hardware stash looking for things to use. Here’s the pile I put together:

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Nuts, bolts, lag screws, washers, an outlet, some molly bolt parts, a bunch of differently sized wire nuts, an S hook, grommets, and an automotive light bulb. Quite the collection. I actually glued two or three of the various washers together to make them thicker than a single washer would be.

Clearly I don’t go for cute things like flowers, leaves, bugs, and the like, which seem to be relatively common as sprigs.

I have no idea if these will work, but they are what I will bring to class. I vaguely understand the process involved, but I need the details. In the end we will wind up with a plaster surface into which we can press wet clay to get the shape of the items we cast. The outlet and the molly bolt parts are iffy, but I hope to make them work. I am certain I could cast them in a way that would work, but it might be more involved than she wants us to get. Time will tell.

Before that class gets going, though, I should be installing the glass in the lightboard — the project I worked on over the summer for an instructor at Langara. I think we’re doing that first thing on Monday morning. It will be good to get that done.

That wraps things up for this week.

Next time I will have updates on all four classes, assuming there is time to write anything at all. Also note that one of my classes meets on Friday mornings, so these posts will probably appear sometime on the weekend (as opposed to Friday) for the duration of the term.

Thanks for reading, and I wish you all a happy 2020!

Written by

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.

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