I should be throwing right now

Well, I need some clay to dry out a bit first, ’cause it’s really wet right now and the stuff I’ve already thrown that needs to be trimmed isn’t dry enough for that, either.  So I wait.

My thumb hurts.  Tuesday night, I sliced it with an X-Acto blade while carving cupcake stamps out of erasers, and yesterday I stabbed it with a broken saw blade while cutting metal into fishy shapes.  Now, I’m playing with clay.  So much for the whole Band-Aid idea.

I finished my drawing in class yesterday.  Turns out, the professor’s leaving the still life up until Monday morning, so I could have kept working on it, but I was done before class ended.  Sure, there’s more I could do to it, but I didn’t feel like it.  I also bought the conté crayons yesterday and have started making the assigned color wheels.  I’ve made a lot of color wheels and such things in the past, mostly because I took a class about color theory at my last school (I don’t think this place has such a class), so this is a bit boring.  But whatever.  He just wants us to get used to the color selection and how they color.  Well, I’ve done four of the six that I need for Monday and I think I’ve got it figured out.  I can imagine some people in the class, though, not having had as many art classes as me, may not be as familiar with color mixing and such, so hopefully this short project helps them make better projects in the future.

I have four bowls thrown right now, and one of them is trimmed.  However, I flipped that one over a bit before it was ready, so now the top is icky.  I’ll try to fix it once it dries a bit more.  If it doesn’t work, at least it was good practice.  I also tidied up my pitchers a bit.  They’re drying now, and, once they’re dry, I’ll “sand” them down a bit with a scrubby thing to make them smoother.

There are doughnuts sitting in a box on the table with napkins.  I want to eat one, but I’m not sure where they came from or who they belong to, so I probably shouldn’t.

My head hurts.  It hurt yesterday, too.  I do not like this.  I suppose I could walk down to Walgreens and get some Tylenol, but I took that last night and it didn’t really help, so I don’t think I’m going to bother.  I’ll just suffer through it, I guess, and eventually get back to pottery.

In fact, I think I’ll go check on my bowls now.  I’ll be back before you even know I’m gone…because I won’t post this until I’m back…

Okay, the bowls are fairly stiff, but I’m going to leave them a bit longer, just to be sure.  I could probably start wedging some of the used clay so that I can throw another bowl, but then I’d be all messy.  Of course I don’t want to be messy; nobody’s ever messy in the ceramics room.


This is a peahen.  She’s like a peacock, only she’s a she so she’s not shiny and colorful.  I like her face.

No, there isn’t really a point to me posting that picture; I just felt like one would be nice there.  I should probably take pictures of my art so that the pictures I include relate somewhat to what I write.  Maybe I’ll do that…someday.  You must realize, I’ve been saying I’ll post pictures of my art for the last six years or so, and it’s only happened a couple times in that time, so it’s not likely to happen any time soon.  Then again, it might.  Maybe I’ll have a reason to gather up everything and pull out my camera.  Maybe I’ll need to make a digital portfolio of all my work soon.  But probably not.

Time to go flip the bowls so that the bottoms can dry a bit.  Then, I can trim/carve them/their feet.  Oh joy.

Bowls=flipped.  Dented bowl=at the table with me, hopefully about to be fixed.  I shall work on that a bit now while I wait for the other bowl bottoms to dry a bit more.  There’s still one bowl that needs to be flipped, but it’s not ready yet.  I also still need to throw two more bowls.  I, so far, am not enjoying the throwing of the four+ pounds of clay.  Why do the bowls have to be big?

I’m back!  Did you miss me?  In case you’re wondering, I’ve got one ugly bowl trimmed but intact, one ugly bowl with a dip in it (a “spoon rest” so to speak) trimmed, one probably ugly bowl flipped and drying, and one ugly bowl trimmed unsuccessfully and squished.  So that’s two that I can use, one that I hopefully won’t mess up, and at least three more that need to be made.  This is SOOOOOO fun.  Yup.

I’m hungry.  Maybe it’s sandwich time.  Maybe not.  I don’t really feel like eating my sandwich right now.

What I would like to do is take a nap.  But we know that’s not going to happen.  I have a short written assignment due by 11:59 pm tonight.  I suppose I could do that now; it’s not like I’m doing anything else.  Soon, though, it will be time to trim a bowl, and then I shall have no reason not to wedge and throw some more, so I probably shouldn’t get started on something that will distract me from the pottery.  Yeah.  That’s a legitimate excuse, isn’t it?

I’ve given in and taken a bite out of my sandwich.  It’s yummy, but I wish I had ice cream.  Ice cream is my favorite.

Now my sandwich is all gone.  Whatever shall I do?  Guess I’ll be back after trimming a bowl and wedging clay and throwing some bowls.  Again, I’ll be back before you even know I’m gone.

I’ve been in this room for the last six hours.  I started this post about four hours ago.  My teacher left two hours ago, and all my classmates are gone.  It’s only me and two ceramics majors doing their awesomely awesome stuff in the other room.  One of them stopped by my wheel for a couple minutes and gave me some pointers, so maybe that will help with the next batch.  I currently have four bowls, three trimmed.  The fourth is drying.  I almost had five, but then I ruined it.  Now, I have to rewedge the clay again.  I need to do a better job wedging; I had a lot of air bubbles in this round of throwing.  My muscles are tired; I want to be done, but I’m not done yet.  It’s now break time for doing that writing assignment that’s due tonight, I guess.  Either that or I’ll just sit here for a while and do not much of anything.  Yeah, that sounds like an exciting plan.

I’m tired of writing here for now.  I’m just tired, too.  I suppose I’ll post this, finally, and start working on that assignment.  Or maybe I’ll clean up a bit, go get some dinner and work on the writing, and then come back and get messy again.  I guess that sounds like an okay idea.

The Oreos are gone

So is the ice cream.  I had an Oreo McFlurry.  It was yummy, but is not anymore.

Yesterday, after I typed here for an hour and finished my sandwich, I went to the car and…did not get out my art supplies.  Instead, I sat in it for half an hour and contemplated what to do.  I even called my mom to get her opinion.  I decided on a sort of compromise.  Since I couldn’t get the work done then, I went home, had dinner, and worked on other stuff (I got supplies and carved the stamp for my cupcake piece, along with ordering colored pencils and finding a place to buy the conté crayons).  Today, I brought all of my drawing stuff into the building right away in the morning, put my drawing in the studio, and went to my class.  Around lunch time, I worked on the drawing for about 45 minutes, then went to my next class.  When that was over, I went back to the studio and drew for another hour or so before a class started coming in to use the room.  Now, I am pretty much done with the can and architectural piece, and have done some work on the ridged cone thing.  During class, I will finish that and add the teeth to the skull and then be done.  At least, that’s the plan, and it better happen because it’s due at the end of class.  I’ll have about two hours to work on it (depending on how long he has us critique at the end), so that should be plenty of time.  I hope.

I still have about an hour left before I want to start walking to class.  What shall I write about now?  Well, I would write a reaction to something going on in politics or something, but I fell asleep during Maddow last night, so I know nothing.  Yes, I actually do know something, but whatever.

I thought of lots to type yesterday after I finished typing, but I don’t remember it now.  It was some personal psychology-related stuff, and I had the wording worked out and everything, but I’ve no idea what it was about.  Oh well.

I tried to make large bowls today.  I made one that was okay; the other five or so attempts failed.  I shall try again, since I have to, definitely Friday and maybe tomorrow, although tomorrow I may be working on metals or drawing.

Okay, I’ve wasted some time updating computery things and browsing stuff.  I still have half an hour left.  Time to find something else to do.  Maybe I’ll read or do some homework.  Maybe.

Some people are not meant to have teal hair

Like the guy who just walked past.  I realize I’m in the art department and lots of people have unnaturally colored hair, but it looks better on some people than others.  Or maybe teal is just too green for some skin tones.  I don’t know.

My class ended an hour ago.  I had lunch and now should be working on my drawing that’s due tomorrow.  (It’s now due at the end of class and the other is due on Monday, so yay.)  However, I obviously am typing, not drawing.  Why is this?  Well, I went online while eating my lunch and now am a bit anxious for no apparent reason and don’t want to go get my drawing stuff and go to that studio.  I would like to just go home, but I’m drawing from a still life, which kind of requires me being in the same room as the set up.  I could probably finish it in class tomorrow if I really try, but the teacher (and me) will be disappointed if I don’t go in today and make some sort of effort.  On the plus side of drawing, I know what I’m doing for the second piece; I am doing a picture of my friend made up of layered cupcake images.  So that’s gonna be a project, but at least it’s not due tomorrow.  We’re also going to have a smaller project over the weekend, with conté crayon, so I should probably get me some of those soon.  Too bad the store on the way home doesn’t have them.  I think I’ll order them online, where they’re cheaper. I also need to get colored pencils.  I already have some, but they’re not Prismacolor, which is what the professor wants, so it’s time to buy new.  Being an art student is expensive.

In my art metals class, we had a series of soldering demos.  It’s really brazing, but we’ll call it soldering ’cause you know what that is and it’s the commoner term for it.  This requires a really hot flame.  I have an aversion to hot things–I don’t even like hair dryers or ovens–so this should be interesting.  I’m really afraid of fire.  Also sharp things, like the saw blades that cut the metal, but I’m kind of over that and it’s less scary, as long as I wear safety glasses.  I took an art metals course before but had to withdraw from it because it made me too anxious and I got behind and the teacher didn’t understand.  Hopefully this semester goes better.

In ceramics, our new assignment is to make large bowls.  This requires using a lot more clay on the wheel than I have before, so I’m not too sure it’s going to go well.  At least bowls don’t have handles.

I guess I really don’t have anything meaningful or important to write; I’m just avoiding work and trying to reduce my anxiety a bit so that I maybe can get work done.  Part of the drawing is complete, but it’s the precise things that people will know if they’re off that I’ve been avoiding adding detail and value to, like the weird skull, architectural piece, and even a simple metal can.  I just don’t want to ruin the picture, but leaving it unfinished isn’t really a good option, either.

I was going to put a picture of a turtle here, but then I realized I’d already shown it to you.  How silly of me.

Instead, here’s a little monkey creature.  They move very quickly.  You can’t see it here, but there was another one who came and took a bite out of this one’s food.  It was funny.

I really need to be working on my drawing or at least doing something, but I’m not and it makes me feel worse.  The just do it, you might say.  If only it were that simple.  I can’t just do it and I don’t know why.  It’s irrational and deeply ingrained, this avoidance and fear, and I don’t know how to get over it.  I just don’t know.

Maybe I could just come in early tomorrow to work on the drawing.  But that’s not going to happen–my first class starts at 10, and I don’t want to have to get here way before that to set up, work, and clean up, plus driving time and breakfast.  I have hours in the afternoon that I could use to work on it, except there’s another class in the room then, and they’re using the same still life and seats we are, and I’m not supposed to disrupt them.  So really, the best time to do it is now.  But I’m not doing it.  Maybe there’s some small part I can work on at home so when I come in to class tomorrow it will look like I did work.  But then I’ll be leaving a lot of it go for finishing in class, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish because I’ve been working pretty slowly on it.  Really, I need to do it now.  NOW.  But I’m a tad hungry now; maybe I should eat my sandwich first.  Then will I draw?

No, I’ll probably just keep sitting here, typing.

Okay, I’m going to eat my sandwich and then go to the car.  When I get to the car, I will try to get out my drawing stuff and walk back to the building and go up to the studio and set up and draw for at least 30 minutes.  That is my goal.  But I don’t know what to draw.  I mean, obviously I need to draw the objects in the still life, but I don’t know where to begin or what to do.  Beginning is always hard.  So is ending, which this stage is, too.  And the middle.  I don’t like being stuck in the middle, either.  So, basically, every part of any process is difficult for me, whether I’m just starting it for the first time or almost done for the millionth or somewhere in between.

This whole nowhere to nap thing is inconvenient.  That’s one problem that’s solved by living in the dorms.  It was so convenient to go back to my room and take naps between classes.  Not to mention I didn’t have to carry everything around with me and situations like I’m in now weren’t nearly as bad because I could easily walk back to the studio whenever and not worry about driving.  It would probably even be okay if I were living in the same area as school, but I’m not, so I pretty much have to stay once I’m here until I’m ready to go home.

My sandwich is gone.  I guess it’s time to pack up and walk out to the car now.

Waiting for class to start

I always get to this class about an hour early.  I come right after my first class, sit down in the empty room, and eat lunch.  Then, I do computery things until class starts.  Today, those computery things include posting, I guess, since that’s what I’m doing now.  I have about 10-15 minutes to write before class starts, so I will spend that time typing.

I finished my pitcher handles on Saturday, but I didn’t pull them like I was supposed to; I threw them on the wheel and cut them up instead.  I like the results much better and it took a lot less time and was much less frustrating for me, so that is good.  Our new assignment is throwing large bowls and then trimming them and carving feet.  My only concern with this project is the size requirement–4-5 pounds of clay, at least.  I couldn’t make a three pound pitcher; how am I going to make a five pound bowl?  More importantly, how am I going to make six five pound bowls?  Oh, and we’re making tea pots in a month or so.  That’s a lot of pieces and measuring and stuff.  Seriously, I can barely make cups.  Plus, teapots have handles.  Booooooo.

I have two large drawings due Wednesday.  One is on its way to completion, mostly because it’s all we’ve been doing during our classes for the past two weeks or so.  The other, however, is not started.  I don’t even have a clear idea of what I want to do for it.  I should probably figure that out soon.  The assignment, basically, is to take a photo with a good value range and contrast and translate that to a large drawing using marks/techniques that add to the meaning of the image.  Well, I have some photos to choose from (I went through the 10,000+ on my computer and narrowed it down to five now), and I have some vague ideas for techniques, but I don’t have a photo and technique idea that clearly go together.  I don’t really have anything.  I’m thinking of using an image of one of my friends.  I have lots of photos of her that fit the requirements because she was one of my models for a photography class in which we practiced lighting techniques.  I think one of these pictures would be good, but I don’t know what kind of connotation to add with the drawing process.  One of my ideas is to make a sort of rubber stamp thing and use that repeated image to create the values, but I don’t know what shape to make the stamp.  It would have to be one with empty space and lines so that I can layer it to get the darker and lighter values.  My mom suggested a cupcake, ’cause my friend likes cupcakes.  I think that’s kind of boring, but I don’t have a better idea.  Maybe it could work…something about the reduction of a person to one thing that represents them to others, even though they’re so much more than that.  Okay, that’s what I’ll use if I can’t think of a better idea.  I even have a cupcake stamp already, so I wouldn’t have to carve my own I guess.  Maybe I should carve my own, though, to make the project more…projecty…and individual or whatever.

Oh, the professor’s here, so I guess I should probably start paying attention.

Pitchers and Orange Drink

I am drinking Hi-C Orange from McDonald’s.  It is better than colas, but still sickeningly sweet after a while.  I don’t know why I’m still drinking it; yes, it’s yummy, but I think it might be giving me a stomach ache.  Now I have to decide if the ice cream is worth it or if it will make me feel worse.  Maybe I don’t feel icky because of the food and beverage.  Maybe I should just go back to bed.  Bed is a bit of a drive away, I have work to finish, and I don’t want to drive back here tomorrow, so I shall stay and work again eventually.

Yesterday, in about two hours, I was able to make eight pitcher shapes.  I was quite pleased with that, but now I have to make handles for them.  I, apparently, am not very good at making handles.  However, I need them to have handles for class Monday, so I must keep trying.  I just don’t want to go back to the studio yet.  Maybe in a few minutes.  I know that each moment I hesitate in going makes going that much more difficult, but maybe, if I avoid it long enough, it will just go away.  I know that’s not how it works, but I want it to be that way.  That would make procrastinating so much more rewarding.

I think the heat just kicked in.  It smells warm now.  I don’t like it.

Maybe, if I finish the pitchers tonight, I can have fun tomorrow.  I do have a drawing assignment to work on; it’s due Wednesday, so I should probably start that, and maybe even get close to finishing it, but there would probably still be time to do something fun.  What’s fun, though?  I guess I could read a book or play a video game or start cutting fabric for a quilt, but that all requires a future time commitment and doesn’t offer immediate satisfaction of completion.  I really just want to do something worthwhile and finish it and be happy with it and enjoy the process.  Is that so much to ask?

I don’t think I feel like eating ice cream right now, and I’ve been typing for 10 minutes, so I guess I should probably think about heading back to the studio and getting to work again.

Where are the outlets?

They’re all surrounded by people.  There aren’t many outlets in this building ’cause it’s from the ’80s or something, before everybody needed power for their laptops, and the ones that are in this room are surrounded by people.  My computer’s battery is running low.  I should probably plug it in, but that would require me going closer to people and maybe even talking to them.  Or, I could sit awkwardly next to the drinking fountain or coffee stand…but that seems a bit too awkward.

I am done with classes for the day, but I’m still at school.  Why?  My plan was to finish my ceramics work (six pitchers plus handles for my six mugs) for Monday before the weekend so I don’t have to drive in on Saturday and Sunday like I did last week.  I thought I’d work on them this afternoon.  I also thought I’d work on them yesterday afternoon, but that didn’t happen.  I didn’t really do much of anything yesterday afternoon because of anxiety and depression.  I tried to, I made a list, but I just couldn’t get work done.  Today, I’ve been sitting here for an hour and a half since my class ended, and I’m still not doing anything.  I know I need to go to the ceramics studio, but I haven’t yet, and thinking about it makes me feel icky.  I don’t know why…I guess there might be people in there who would judge me or my work or talk to me or something…but I don’t really care, and there are people out here anyway.  This is stupid.

I was able to do a bit of work in art metals today.  We finally had some work time, but I sat around for at least 10 minutes trying to decide what to do, until the assistant noticed and asked what was wrong.  Once she helped me choose which theme of drawings (we had to do 100 drawings in 10 themes of our choice…I’m still 30 short a week later) to translate into metal samples, I spent a couple more minutes trying to plan which design would use which required technique, and finally started a piercing design (which involves drilling into the metal and then sawing in it without touching the edges) because most of the other work required using the flame, which is scary, or etching, which I’ve never done before.  I decided to start with something I was a little more comfortable with because I knew my anxiety was already high and just looking at the other people using the torches made me nervous.  I’ll have to do that stuff eventually, though, and it’s probably best to do it soon, so that I don’t feel silly for asking for help weeks into the work when everybody else already is comfortable with it.

Really, I just want to go home and go to sleep or something.  I really wanted to do that yesterday afternoon, but I couldn’t because I had class in the evening.  Now, I’m done with my classes for the day and do have work, due tomorrow, that I could do at home, but I can’t go home yet because I know I need to work on ceramics.  This whole wheel throwing and handle pulling thing isn’t going very well for me.

I should also probably get food at some point.  I had a sandwich a while ago, so I’m not hungry yet, but the café thing here closes in less than an hour.  I could go over to McDonald’s or something and get food and ice cream.  That would be yummy, and they’re open for dinner time.  What I really need to do is go to the ceramics room and work.  But that requires getting up and going there and getting stuff out and working and lots of other things that could be made into lame excuses not to.  I mean, I do want to go and get the work done, but I don’t go.

Well, the battery’s almost dead.  Guess I have to go find something to do…maybe ceramics…

Shears and Silliness

I am taking an art metals course.  Today, we learned about a bunch of tools in the studio/shop and cut copper into squares.  This requires a tiny bit of measurement, shears, and some force.  The shear I used was fairly small and had a lever to pull the blade down.  There is a very small space between the guard and the surface where the metal sits, so you have to put the metal in at just the right angle/place sometimes.  Fine.  People figured that out with little complaint.  Problem #2:  When the handle/lever is not all the way back, the guard is down.  This means the metal is secured–it won’t come out with you just trying to pull at it a bit.  Solution?  Put the handle back all the way like you should have the first time.  Not too difficult.  Or so I thought.  One lady in line ahead of me had this problem and asked for help; took two seconds to find and solve the problem, then she continued her work.  A while later, another lady had the same problem.  I looked up upon hearing her complaint and struggle to see her and a guy in the class trying to pull the sheet of metal out.  To my amusement, she touched the handle…and brought it back down in the cutting motion…why?  I don’t know.  She obviously didn’t understand the tool very well.  I was getting a bit impatient and thought I would be nice, using my knowledge of physics and the previous problem that was exactly the same to step in and offer a suggestion.  So I asked what she was trying to do and suggested that she push the handle up/back (it was all the way down at this point).  She did and *poof* the metal was loose.  She then began to argue with me, saying that it had been all the way back before.  Obviously, the tool must have malfunctioned…there’s nothing on that tool to malfunction except human error and maybe a dull blade!  Anyway, from where I was standing, I could see the distance between the handle and the wall.  It should be less than two inches when all the way released.  When she started, it was at least four inches away.  No, it was not all the way back, thank you very much.  And yes, I did know what I was talking about and obviously was right.  Long story short, people are silly/stupid sometimes.