Day one.

Posted on Oct 4, 2012

I’m here in Minot for Notstock at Minot State University. Today was an interesting day.

Along with a bunch of other artists, we’re set up in the student center. The raku kiln is firing outside the door, plus live music and all sorts of art related activities. High school students have been bused in all day. They buy (I think?) white tshirts and the screen printing artists help them make their own custom Notstock shirt. Kendra has her potter’s wheel spinning making wonderful pots. I’m working on a sculpture of a Greyhound.

It is pretty cool.

So then I started the sculpture around 9 AM. I brought my own clay and supplies like pipe for the armature, canvas covered board to work on, tools, etc. Standard working stuff. What didn’t have was a work table. No big deal, they’d provide one for me.

At home in my studio, I use a cast iron table. It came from the printing press that printed the Bowman County Pioneer. i think it was used for typesetting – when papers were printed with hand set type. This thing is heavy with thick caster wheels. I can wheel it around the studio. But it does not go on outings.

So back to today. They found a standard college sculpture stand for me to use. Good deal. “That’ll work,” I think. It’s been used but that’s the way it works, being a college and all. I look at the top. It is a little loose. Must be the screws. I have a screwdriver. No problem. I tighten the screws. I’m a little concern that the top is made of particle board…

Oh well. Onward!

I C-clamp my board with armature to the top of the sculpture stand. Time to pile on the clay. I’m making a life sized greyhound coming out of the wall – different pose than the one on this site, but similar. I’m about 75 pounds of clay and 4 1/2 hours into this when I hear a tiny little “creak”.

Then the screws in the particle board top gave way. The entire sculpture, all the work, a half of a life sized greyhound’s worth of clay, toppled to the floor with a loud Crack! and a hearty Thud!

The entire room, packed with students and artists, fell silent. I felt their eyes on me.

“All part of the Process!” I say. And the room returns to their artistry.

“crap” I think for a second. Can’t be precious with clay. Power of non-attachment stuff. Sigh.

So I started over.  After the awesome helper from the ceramics department led me to the Starbucks for a nerve-calming, non-flavored latte and a quick trip to Menards…

What a day. Tomorrow Ill take some photos.


  1. genjiscorner
    October 5, 2012

    Ouch! Good to have a Zen-like response to such things. Hope Day 2 is better.

  2. Pam
    October 11, 2012

    You are so good, Sarah! I know (and anyone that knows me knows) that I would not have had that composure.

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