Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm supposed to start working on Aphrodite soon, as in yesterday, but somehow the thought of working at Skidmore again has me apprehensive and nervous. Maybe if Regis hadn't set me up right next to his wheel, in front of all those students I could handle it but I am quite shaky and disturbed. I think it's the studio, but it could be fears about the exhibit itself. Yesterday I called them to let them know I was starting the work and they told me I might not have to do it, that there may not be room for any more work. It's strange, because Aphrodite was the first goddess piece they said they wanted, and they got all excited about it. Now they may not need her. I have to get Ishtar to the studio somehow and get her fired. That has me nervous too. What if the arms break, or the sword snaps off? The firing itself I'm not too worried about if they start slow and 'soak' the kiln for a couple of hours at low heat. It might very well be the fact of working in front of people, even if those people have more than enough to do than watch what I'm doing. It is, after all, the end of the school year.

Yet my hands are shaky, I have butterflies in the stomach and can't think very straight. There's a lot of issues: the students bump things, steal things, make noise. I like some classical music going on in the background but otherwise quiet time. Can I focus in a public setting? What if the thing fails near the beginning? I'm used to having a shit fit, tossing the clay in the bucket and then pouting in my chair slugging down a Fosters while I contemplate what went wrong. Can't do that at Skidmore for sure. Then there's Regis. What if he treats me like a student again and lectures me on my choices? I keep remembering him slashing my Osiris because he insisted I had made a mistake on the arms. He doesn't understand my reasoning, why I change scale and realism, how one thing slides into another. He likes consistency because he's a potter. Alice is one of the few sculptors who work at the studio from time to time and all her work is classical, perfect and clear. My is more disturbing and at times slightly nightmarish. Regis might not 'get it' and then we'd have to waste time and emotion talking about it.

I'm likely being paranoid. They may all be so busy they'll ignore me, but it still feels like trying to work in a subway. The problem, of course, is that my kiln is not ready to use and trying to move Aphrodite in my car to Skidmore for a firing would be inviting disaster. What to do? I suppose I should 'suck it up' and just go start the damn thing, even though the museum won't use it, somebody may buy it and some gallery may show it. Still I will miss my music and wingback chair and the occasional Fosters.

Maybe I can look for tires for the car today and start later at Skidmore. Maybe if Margaret comes to check things out, like tomorrow or Sunday... maybe then I'd feel less threatened. Oh well.

It might be that I am backing off my meds and I have been using them long enough that I have a slight case of withdrawal. That sounds very feasible. Jumpy, twitchy and nervous. Yup. That could be withdrawal. Crap. Grab some clay and work it out. I should build a mask expressing my disappointment over the exhibit. Go buy a beer. Something.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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