Everytime I sculpt, I am surprised by what comes out of my fingers. Always at first the nagging doubt, the thought that the ease with which shapes emerge from the wet clay is an accident, a fluke. What if the flow stops and the earth stays mute? I am grateful that whatever guides my hands was there again Friday, ready for my first date with sculpting in a year.
An auspicious day, the Sri Lankans would say, no rain, a light breeze under the tree where I take my material. The teacher is a generous soul, a famous artist who transmits his knowledge and gives his time. It is hard to understand why I took so long to call and find my way to his class. I had heard about him months ago. What was I fearing? What would I have to acknowledge?
Everything seems easy. The Atelier is perfect. The schedule is simliar to what I experienced in David Clendenning’s class at the School of Art in Ottawa. You work at your own rythm, three hours at a time. The teacher is called ‘Sir’ here in Colombo. He stops here and there to encourage and correct.
This space under the trees with its water basin and large blocks of stone seems timeless, as if this Atelier has been there since the dawn of time. I pile clay onto an armature and spend a magical hour creating an African head, larger than life . The teacher takes me aside; he is pleased. Proportions are good he says. You need to work on a series, he adds. I know these things, he concludes. These few words resonate with me for a long time.
I will post pictures from my next class.