I’ve had a ‘sculpting’ category on my blog for a long time, and I just realized that I never write about sculpting, so… here’s a short parable that may or may not have been based on something that happened to me a few months back because I was an idiot.

Cue the music.

Once upon a time, at a studio far, far away, and by ‘studio’ I mean ‘flattened Kleenex box which serves as a table…’ there was clay.  There was also a sculptor – sculptress?  Is that a word?  Apparently.  Anyway, there was a sculptress who spent her days working her fingers to the bone over a cold block of clay as she tried to create something that didn’t suck, and one day she had a vision of Death.  Now, most people would have been legitimately freaked out over this, but because she was a sculptress and therefore a little out of whack to begin with, she decided that her vision would make a really cool piece of artwork that she could sell to someone who would have to turn it to face the wall whenever they had children at the house because it was that frickin’ cool.  For three days and nights, she molded and carved a piece of clay that was no larger than her fist, and she found herself staring into the face of Death.

The back of Death’s head, however, left a lot to be desired.  In fact, it still looked a hell of a lot like a random piece of clay that she hadn’t started working with yet.  The face looked awesome, but the back of the head…

In the end, the sculptress decided that she was sick of the sculpture after working on it for three days straight, and so she went to bed, leaving her tools, her extra clay, and the head of Death on the flattened box of Kleenex.

In the morning, she sat back down, having decided that it was time to begin creating Death’s body.  She took a piece of extra clay from the table, and it was cold and unworkable, so she squeezed it.

The second her fingers closed around it, she knew, and when she turned it around, her heart sank.

The face of Death was in her hand, ruined.  The hours of detail work she’d put into the sagging left eyelid, the way the nose drooped and melted into the rest of the face… destroyed.  Worst of all was the lower jaw, which had been designed to look as if it were peeling away from the rest of the face.  It had broken into three pieces, and the teeth were smashed and beyond salvage.

It took her two days to fix the damage that had been caused in two seconds.  In the end, none of it ended up mattering, because she couldn’t get Death’s arms right and she left the head and the body and the wings sitting on a piece of cardboard by her bed, and then school started so when the heck was she supposed to find time to look up reference photos for something that was supposed to be original…

But it still sucked, and so the moral here is that you really need to separate your projects from your unused clay.