Entry 11

Studio work was canceled this morning.  I took this chance to try and organize exhibition information for a solo show in September at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the 2nd Annual Sculptural Show and Sale at the River Market in Little Rock in October and a three person show at the Historical Art Museum in November.  I only got one show organized.
Lunch was interesting as usual with so many different foods to choose from and a variety of languages such as French, Chinese, Russian and English.  It’s interesting to depend on each other and our language skills to have a conversation. On occasions such as today the topics included the Olympics and exploring the city shops and restaurants in pairs with only minimal information for cab drivers written in Chinese by the interpreters.  We are like kids exploring new territory.
Back at the studio there was another minor failure of clay adhesion to the lower left part of the cranium.  We created about thirty wood/wire crosses, connected them to the armature and put the clay back on the form.  It was repaired in about an hour and a half.  I’m still learning about the softness of clay and the strength and movement of armatures. .  After all the clay repairs were done I refined one of my rough paddles into a soft curved paddle so I could lightly pack the clay to a smooth surface.  Parts of the piece are getting close to finish.  I’ve had many positive comments from passing artists about “Visionary.”
Three artists have had plaster molds made of their clay works.  I continue to document this next stage in the process on a number of artists.  I’m not sure I can keep up with everyone that I’ve started documenting.  Theodor from St. Martin has made a plaster positive from his mold already and had spent the day refining the surface and form.  I’m not sure what his next step is.  But, I do know that parts of the figure will be cast in bronze and other parts will be carved in stone.
David from the Norfolk Island had a major problem with his clay falling.  He had similar problems as mine except that his was a quarter of the piece that fell off.  He was not at the studio all day so his assistant and a few others did all the repairs.  They made more wood/wire crosses of various sizes and lengths and connected them to the armature and all the clay was applied back onto the piece.
I was asked yesterday what kind of pedestal I wanted for my “Visionary” piece to be mounted on.  I took measurements considered the height, width and depth of the work, made sketches and finally talked to four or five different artists about what kind of options I should consider.  I decided to mount it flush to the ground on a small concrete pad that comes out from the work about 15-20 centimeters.  I feel this is consistent with the idea of mediation, prayer and a visionary.  Close to the earth and in a sea of grass felt right from almost everyone’s perspective.
Ryan’s assistant told me that I was on a local TV channel at 8:30 last night.  During the opening ceremony of the Olympics  a few TV crews interviewed three of the artists in our hotel lobby and asked our perspective on the Olympic opening ceremony, what advise we had for our home teams and how we felt about Changchun.
Monday I start marking out what will be cut from the granite with a new studio assistant and deciding how I want to mount or present the pieces.  Should the granite pieces be close to the ground or should they be on a low pedestal?  What will enhance the natural direction of the piece?

Posted in: Michael Warrick's Journal from China

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