Friday, March 25, 2011
The river has calmed and its waters have cleared. Daffodils bloom in a garden I pass on my way home from the studio. I am done. The last big push is over, four figures stand tall and whole in the studio. Time to pack up and sweep the floor.
The final day was epic as it should be. After getting a fresh tank of acetylene I run out of oxygen. The welder, which has never over heated, begins to over heat at regular intervals and then…… I run out of steel. While waiting for the welder to cool down I ended up pre-bending steel by hand and dismantling a sculpture that didn't make the final cut for scrap steel; an organ donor if you will. Smaller lengths of steel had to be welded together and joints sanded to create lengths long enough to fill the gaps. One span of time waiting for the welder to cool was spent playing tag with one of the students; we kicked around a soccer ball, too, which led to a climb down into a storm drain to retrieve it.
While working on the final sculpture my pace quickened as euphoria would sweep over me, but then I would find myself slowing down, not wanting to finish, savoring the moment. While thoughts of home and my love were ever present so were these sculptures. When I arrived here last month all my time and energy has been put towards this work. Six days a week I'd toil, one day of rest for the body but not the mind. What will I do, what will become of this place when there is no more work to be had in the studio?
2,650ft of steel
Over 22lbs of electrodes
72 cut-off wheels
2 pairs of gloves
Countless apples, bananas and chocolate bars
And yes, one rooster was harmed in the making.