Willow at Magpie Tales has come up with another unique prompt:
Here’s my contribution – be sure to visit her site to see the many other wonderful stories and poems.
My sister agreed to model. I gathered all my tools and bought a chunk of clay. I booked the wheel at the community arts center. There – all set to try my hand at sculpting.
I’d been taking pottery classes for a few months, and really enjoyed getting my hands dirty in the clay, molding and shaping bowls, cups, vases while the wheel spun around. My work had been gradually improving until some of my pieces I’d decided could be nice enough for little Christmas gifts.
Last week, the instructor suggested I combine pottery wheel work with some artistic sculpting. So today was the day.
With my sister relaxing in a chair, the light just right, clay on its platform, water bucket at my side, I put my foot on the pedal to start the wheel turning. Gradually the clay took on the form of shoulders, neck, head. When I thought it was the perfect oval ‘balloon’, I stopped the wheel, slid the spatula underneath the form and transferred it to the sculpting table – and began to whittle away. Hair, eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, mouth, chin – my sister’s only request was that I omit the wrinkles. Slowly her face took shape, and then it was time to put it in the kiln. I was quite pleased with the end result, but refused to show it to my sister – I wanted her to see the final finished product.
We went out for coffee while waiting for the firing to finish. We always have such good times together, giggling about past teenage escapades, laughing at the antics of our children, poking fun at husbands, often playing silly jokes on each other. We’re alike in so many ways, with lots of interests in common, but where I like to make things – sewing, crafting, cooking – my sister is a doer and her artistic talent runs to dancing, singing, local theatre. We completely support each other, with me attending her productions, and she’s always ready to taste my latest culinary efforts, or model for me like she did today.
When we got back to the arts center, the attendant said we were just in time, the kiln was cool enough to pull out my sculpture, and went to get it for us. I knew what it looked like, so I watched my sister’s face, anticipating her beaming smile and nod of approval when she got her first glimpse of my masterpiece.
Her look of horror and dismay, eyes bulging and jaw dropped, caused me to whirl around to face the attendant holding the finished piece. Several thoughts passed through my head all at once – explosion, sabotage, misfiring, meltdown, maybe I thought I was too good.
But it was perfect, the sculpture really did look like her: elegant, timeless beauty that she is.
‘Gotcha!!’ And my sister laughed all the way home.
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