Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Where have you been all my life?


This latecomer to the May Ball settled on the roof of the semi-opaque, plastic gazebo that I do most of my work beneath yesterday, and stayed just long enough for me to turn on the camera of my phone.

Last year, a big, fat wood pigeon did the same thing, and I crept up beneath it, put my index finger under it's claws and slowly lifted it about 6 inches, and it didn't have a clue what was happening. Pigeons are surprisingly heavy considering their size. I am always amazed at the weight of shot pheasant as well - no wonder they cause so much damage when they collide with moving cars.



All my work at the moment, though sculptural, involves almost every other material except stone - at least it will do up until tomorrow, when I take delivery of a block which should have been carved way back in the summer, were it not for the procrastination of my glamorous assistant.

The whole reason that I sometimes employ him to carry out some of my duties is so I can procrastinate myself. Procrastination is my right and territory, but he seems to think that it is an integral and vital part of workshop policy, to be practiced by all and sundry - meaning him as well as me. Well he is wrong.

As far as I am concerned, he is almost single-handedly to blame for my current and latest financial crisis, and I am not sure whether or not he understands just how much of his glamour has worn off over the last couple of months.

The people who work nearby me have obviously misunderstood the reasons why I employed him to help me in the past, thinking that I was asking him to do things which I myself was not capable of. I had not realised the extent of their ignorance until yesterday, when - upon hearing that I was taking away this carving job from him in order to do it myself (I need the money, whereas I needed the time before) - one asked if the work was 'within my capabilities'.

I looked at him with incredulity for an instant, because this guy is mediocre in the extreme at his chosen trade (not profession), and the things which leave his workshop after 'restoration' are usually a great deal worse than they were before they arrived. Even his cosmetics are appallingly slap-dash. I would be embarrassed to ask for money for the quality of work he produces.

Then it dawned on me that I am the only one in the area who has had a classical training in my field, despite having blagged my way through most of the last 40 odd years. The others just do not understand the historical precedence set by almost all the studios of sculptors in the past, when they employed assistants to do - in some cases - all of the donkey-work on many different items. Did you know, for instance, that August Rodin never touched a rough block of marble in his life? All of his stone pieces were executed by his devoted assistant, Bourdin, from small maquettes made by the great man.

I am not saying that I am anywhere near that sort of level, I am just amazed at just how far away from that level some other people think I am. Even my glamorous, fucking assistant seems to believe that he is indispensable to me, and I am now royally pissed off with him for suffering this delusion for so long.

For one reason or another (or another) I am currently going through a really horrible period in my life right now and this is a shame, because the work I have in front of me should be very enjoyable, were it not for the fact that it all should have been done fucking months ago, by my glamorous, fucking assistant.



Right. That's that off my chest. Regards the above (in the immortal words of Rolf Harris) - can you guess what it is yet?

I will give you a clue. What you see is the inside, and this will be covered with clay which will then be cast in plaster, from which a resin positive will be made. I'll show you the finished article when - and if - it is finished.

16 comments:

  1. Does it go 'ding dong'? I see the Volvo is still going OK.

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    1. Volvo is still minus a working air-pump.

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  2. Buon giorno Tom,
    Could it be a Roman urn ? ..... I'm rather overloaded with Roman urns at the moment !! XXXX

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    1. What's a Roman urn? About two Sestertius a month!

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    2. I just knew as I typed it that someone would do the joke ....... it was one of my dad's favourites !!

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    3. How I miss those old Carry On films...

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    4. Roma was wonderful thanks for asking Tom ........ too much wine, too much food and too much culture and ruins !!!! We walked the length and breadth of Rome and even saw the Pope ( not sure if that was a good or bad thing !!) XXXX

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  3. I thought it was a big bell
    ( no not a big bell END)
    A BIG BELL!

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  4. I agree with the above. I think if you turn it upside down (or right way up so to speak) it will be an urn/vase of some kind - and i want one!

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    Replies
    1. Give us about £2000 and you can have one, Weave.

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  5. Tom, i think in many jobs these days those who have the title of senior don't actually know how to do the work, and for many, they have trouble co-ordinating any of it. I've worked with such people, and it's irritating.

    So, when one comes across a situation like yours, where the senior actually CAN do it all, well, it seems the exception more than the rule.

    Currently, the more senior people at my workplace actually DO know how to do what i do, at least to a degree, so it makes for a better working environment.

    Your project also looks like a bell to me.

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    1. What's a 'senior', and am I going to like the answer?

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  6. 'Senior' meaning 'higher up the ladder' and 'makes more money', e.g., senior project manager vs. project manager

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