Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Endless 10%

Gotten a bit behind in my posting, but suffice it to say, I'm still working on the damn figure.

Going for my third attempt at the arrow today.Two weeks ago I finally managed see the sculpture with the arrow installed.It looked like this.

The good news was that the arrow attached to the body pretty much like I'd hoped. The bad news was two-fold. First, while the arrow was the same size as all the others, it looked much, much too long. In the end we decided it looked about 10.5 inches too long. That's a lot to trim off a man's arrow, but you gotta do what you gotta do. The second problem was that it sagged, and a sagging arrow is a metaphor I don't need.

Round two. I decided that the best solution would be to use square steel rod stock. Good in theory, but at the last minute, it turned out that it sticks up too far at the rounded edges, and would be too visible. Round two point five. Back to the hardware store for some brass tubing. Not as strong or rigid as square steel, but lighter. Hopefully that will make the difference.

At the same time, I've been working on paint finishes. Having a failed casting has been unexpected helpful in this regard. Hydrostone is not the same as Forton MG, but I'm guessing it's close enough. They don't really show up well in pictures, but here's a nice image of the two of them stacked together. Makes me think, as always, that it would be even cooler to have millions of them.

Finally, in the face of all this endless work on the last 10%, I've been thinking about why this is taking so long, and I think I have at least half an answer. I'm hoping that this process represents a shift from making things that look good to making things that are good. It's easy to make work that looks good in slides, or looks good on the internet. In the end, that's a lot more about the quality of the photo than it is about the quality of the work. Making something that is good - that can hold it's own in person, from all angles - is a much trickier proposition. And if you're a sculptor, that's what it's got to be about.

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