From Clay to Wire

For the final two days of this week long course in creative sculpture, my first attempt at anything like this since primary school, we each have to work on a project of our own devising.

The idea of coming up with an idea for myself, and that once I’d fixed on that idea, I’d have to make a three dimensional representation of it, filled me with momentary panic.  Then, after a deep breath, I realised that one of the transferable skills I have learnt in all my days of writing courses and writing practice is that any idea is as complex and full of variety as the next one, it’s just up to me to pick one and try.

The ideas that I have been exploring in my writing recently are the properties of groups of three.  In life and in social and family situations, any group of three people is made up of a couple, on the one hand, and a single person on the other; those relationships change over time, sometimes one is part of the couple, sometimes not, and each position in the threesome has its own stresses and strains, pleasures and pains.

As I’ve been thinking about this a lot, it seemed like a good opportunity to approach it from a different angle, to attempt to explore some of it through a visual, three dimensional medium.

My initial problem was that I could only think of three dimensional things which are stronger as threesomes –  a three legged stool is better than a two legged one, a triangle is a strong shape.  How to portray the exclusion of the single by the double, while at the same time suggesting that it’s only a matter of time before the relationship will change, and a different combination will be dancing together as a couple?

Fabia suggested I start with clay-  the first time I’ve used it since primary school.  I fiddled with it for a while trying. spectacularly unsuccessfully to make little dancing figures, by ended up with these little shapes, which I found very pleasing to the eye, but the material didn’t have enough tension in it.

 Wanting something which provided more resistance I moved on to making curves with wire, and then spent the rest of the day bending and taping and unwinding and taping again.  Another day of more of the same lies ahead, until I see what it is I’ve actually made.

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