Thursday, March 4, 2021

March 4

 Working on two small figures today, each about 15 inches tall. The first I had made several weeks ago -- it had a body with lots of small nails and tacks driven into it (like an African nkisi figure), long arms hanging down on each side. What were those arms doing? Were they feeling for something, should they be holding something?

Today I rummaged around the studio and found a carved wooden cone that was given to me. It isn't a chillum, because it only has a hole at one end; maybe it's for burning incense? It seems to be made of sandalwood. In any case, I began to see it as a musical instrument, and decided this figure should be playing it. I also stabilized the legs with glue and new pegs, so now it's in pretty good shape. 

Over the years, I've gotten better at "fit and finish", making things that are more well-crafted and don't fall apart. I've needed to cultivate patience. I have to drill proper pilot holes so I don't split the wood, glue properly, finish the surface, saw carefully, sand the edges, and not break things.


The second piece uses the fish on a dish from two days ago! I think of the head as a wolf, but I'm not sure it's right for this piece, so that may change. It appears to be offering the fish, which is an image I've used frequently in past work (often it's someone holding out a child).

Am I avoiding working on the larger wall-hung pieces? In some ways they are much harder, because of the scale. It's also hard finding a place to store or hang them in the studio when they're done! But I fiddled a bit with the Mother piece, thinking that the round body I was using may not be working. This is just playing. I will have to keep at it tomorrow.  It might be holding a child.

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