My Summer Adventure: Sculpting

img_1469This past July, I had the wonderful opportunity to take a sculpting class at the local junior college, College of San Mateo. I was looking for a holiday adventure that would be fun and refresh me from the year-long doctor appointments from my car accident and melanoma.

Hmm…sculpting, that sounds fun. I have always wanted to see how artists sculpt out of stone or glass…and make statues. I am going to sign up.

img_1451For the next six weeks, I found my hidden gift of sculpting. 20 students and I, almost all younger ‘kids’ in their teens and early twenties, learned how to sculpt a nude statue out of red clay. Our professor, Rory, a famous sculptor himself, warned us it would take two hours to make a foot. And it did. Not having any experience with this, I thought as an artist, it would be easy. It was not.

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img_1459We met twice a week from 9-3:30 and boy were we busy! I came home every day bone tired form the mental and physical energy it takes to sculpt, to sit and stand all day long. But I was delighted to find how excited I was to come to class and do art all day in studio with other artists. This was an exhilarating experience for me and I felt completed as an artist.

We had to pick one medium to use so I chose glass. Rory warned us that “glass is fussy” but I did not heed his warning! I learned how to buy glass with a trip to the local glass store and chose my three projects: a blue/white Star of David plate for Jewish img_1516holidays, a cross and glass base, and a Jewish mezuzah with Scripture, which hangs on doorposts of Jewish homes. I shared my faith as a Jewish Christian, and while most were accepting, some gave me funny looks!

img_1475Sculpting with glass is an extremely frustrating thing to do, and with just some instructions from the professor, I was off, soon begging for help from Helen and Peggy, volunteers in the class. Wearing goggles, I measured my designs, then cut and sanded them. Then the next foray was to fire them in the kiln. Firing is a lot like Christmas morning, you don’t know what you are going to get until you open the package, or in this img_1499case, the kiln! My blue Star of David plate melted over the corners, a no-no, but I liked how it looked, so kept it that way. My purple marbled cross came out beautifully contoured and I was pleased.

I next made a mold outimg_1519 of clay and plastered it, filled it with cut green glass and fired it, making the base for the cross. I filled the mezuzah mold with colored glass bits, and fired it, satisfied to have it for my new home in France one day.img_1502

img_1473Other classmates sculpted stones, made plaster masks out of their faces, and fused metal. I loved learning from the younger kids, listening to their dreams and stories of their lives.

Our grade was based on all of our work, and I was happy to get an A- in the class. My clay statue, Gabriella, was given a “B” because her arms were not totally img_1528proportional. Oh, well, I did my best, and while she turned out looking like an idol, she sits on my bookshelf now at home.

img_1540We celebrated the end of our class with a potluck and photographs on our iphones. I am now ready to lay my paintbrush aside, and hope to continue in glass once I move to France where I will give God the glory through my art. Enjoy the pictures! img_1533

So see my art click on ‘my art’ above of go to giftsofhisglory.com


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