Roundabout: Gone but not to be forgotten

Today I decided that the Roundabout cob sculpture is not to be completed this spring. In fact, I have torn it completely down and put away the armature it was built on.

The main thing that did him in, was what I learned about the work after fellow equine artist Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig wrote a superb critique of it. I submitted the sculpture for an ongoing article series called “Windward”, in the Realistic Equine Sculpture Society’s quarterly publication, The Boat. The critique was tremendous help for me and the crucial thing was that I needed to lengthen the horse’s back. It was the root of the problems I was having getting the front and back to unite, and the leg lengths. (Among other things!)

Well, that ended up being the death-knell for this sculpture (as-is). The store-bought armature I built the sculpture on had some problems and this was the last straw. I won’t go into all the issues but the main one is that there just wasn’t enough wire in there to lengthen the back. And the kinds of workarounds I could have devised would have just added more hassle to the process of sculpting. I still have a lot to learn about sculpting in clay, but I do know that if your armature isn’t right it impedes the creative flow that gets going when you are really working the clay!

I realized today that instead of working “crippled” it would be better to just start over in the US. There, I can use an existing armature stand I have, one that I know won’t cause me even more problems when I get to the master-resin casting stage (as this one was going to). If the sculpture was going OK I could have lived with it, but now as I need to add more wire to the back end, I might as well start over with the totally right thing.

I am NOT giving up on this work. I have such a wealth of information now, and I’ve been at it long enough I feel like I know the horse!! Rather than feel like this was a huge setback, I feel really relieved. It will be great to just start over at home!Last week I had lunch with a new UK friend, Caroline Jones, and at her house I found this PERFECT photo she had taken, of the cob horse I want Roundabout to be. This will help keep me inspired and ready to get back to it in June:

It is in the EXACT position I was going for!

Tomorrow I drive over to Donna Chaney’s studio for two days of ceramics glazing. That will be a great break. I was going to attend the Crufts dog show in Birmingham on the Saturday but I have since decided I’d rather tour the Welsh borders a little bit on the way home. My aunt Joan told me the other day that my uncle Norm’s family are direct descendants of the family who occupied Goodrich Castle and I want to go see it! (Anyway I got to see plenty of top Keeshonds at their US national specialty show last year!)

I’ll be picking up the “Boreas” molds at Donna’s, the last ones I’m missing. I am totally avid to get my hands on them to start casting and custom sculpting, but I really should not cast anything else until I get home because I can’t get back to Donna’s after this weekend. The next 2 months are going to be crazy/busy. I’d hate to finish a custom Boreas and then not be able to get it fired to bisque. I can’t ship unfired greenware home! I’m a little freaked out just with the idea of driving two of them in the car tomorrow, they are so fragile.

I still need something to do with my idle time here so I am going to work on the “Clarity” sculpture. I still like it very much and if I really focused I should be able to get it further along. (I have a feeling the name is going to change, though!)

That’s all the art news for now. I gave up on writing a post about Belgium for now. Though I want at least share a few photos in a more general post about more life in the UK etc. We haven’t done much that is that exciting to write about, it being such a dreary long winter! I am delighted that we never got any more snow in February but it has been uniformly cold and wet until last week. We are now on about 9 days without rain and seeing more sun, and the daffodils are about to bloom in the garden… there is a hope for spring!

My mom is having major surgery the week of the 22nd of March, and I’m flying back to Boulder to support her and my dad for the first week. We are praying for a good outcome, mom, and a speedy uneventful recovery. You deserve it! I am looking forward to seeing Boulder again, if a little earlier than I expected to!

I have the car this afternoon, so now the Boyz and I are off to explore a new wooded area (with an actual Car Park!) that I discovered the other day!