Living the Dream

As a young girl, I always dreamed of becoming another Lucy Maud, devouring books sometimes three and four on the go at one time. Now, here I am, 50-something, and the dream keeps coming back to me. When Magpie Tales started publishing their prompts, I couldn't resist. My first few attempts were shared with a very select few - and it is thanks to their encouragement that I am emboldened to share with more of the world. Read, enjoy (I hope), critique, and tell me what you think.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Art takes on many forms

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.

29 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading your story.

    loveNlight
    Gabi

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  2. wow! you must be really good! the only thing i ever made was a coil vase for my mom when i was about 10, and it was lopsided!

    nicely magged!

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  3. Wow Peg sure surprised me. I have just seen the new prompt and here you have already done yours. You are hitting high gear now gal.
    QMM

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  4. Yes, I'm fabulous - in my imagination!!! LOL In reality - my vase would probably look like an ashtry, an ugly one, that would be put in a drawer at the first opportunity!!

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  5. QMM - I've struggled the last few weeks with even coming up with an idea. This one hit me right in the middle of the forehead - so much fun. Looking forward to your mag (new word coined of late apparently).

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  6. You capture well the lingering questions of the creator when working and firing clay.

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  7. Oh, Sis! I love it. I can hardly type, I'm laughing so hard. This prompt was so great, so much fun! I'm so glad you introduced me to Magpie Tales. And I'm so glad we are sharing this amazing journey. How does it feel to be the first to post this week?

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  8. I could so hear my sister pulling the same trick. Gotcha, indeed. Love it.

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  9. You got me, right to the end! Great story.

    CJ xx

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  10. This is beautiful work, Peg. I laughed too.

    www.angiemuresan.com

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  11. I'm a guy who grew up with no sisters, but I still laughed.

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  12. That was great! Woah, what a surpirse. I was outraged, how could her sister not like it?! The poor girl, she tried so hard. haha

    I really enjoyed it, right to the end. :)

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  13. Oh, those sisters! Cute story, Peg!

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  14. I sit here wondering what would happen if I attempted to create any work of art in my sister's image ..... oh, I would never hear the end of it! Nice Magpie...

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  15. Gotcha, indeed! What a delightfully charming tale - it doesn't get any better than two sisters and a giggle!

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  16. Very enjoyable. Thank you. :)

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  17. It took me a second read to get the visual joke, but you can't fool me. You weren't surprised by what you saw, the joke was against Sis (as I see it) with your sculpture expressing the (intended) shock of her seeing herself as shocked! Nice.

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  18. smiles. loved the way you brought this to a close...mine would look little like anyone i tried...maybe a bit abstract...lol. nice magpie!

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  19. We never see ourselves, do we? Who sees us correctly?? Very nice...

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  20. I love your take on the prompt!

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  21. Ha ha.....I'd do the same to my twin! Nice little finish, there!

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  22. A fun story of clay and craftiness! Love the ending!

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  23. Please understand:
    I have so many followers, I run out of time notifying people awards....

    thus, I tell you: please look at all of my awards posts, pick 5 awards you love most among my April, May, June, or July post, and pass these awards to 1 to 10 of your blogging friends, or keep them yourself...

    Thank you for the friendship!

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