Friday, July 4, 2008

Death of an elephant...

In our ecologically minded world being a cheapskate can be a virtue.
Once molded the clay can be thrown away, or re-used to make something else.
Maybe some of the molecules in my body used to be some part of an elephant at one point in time.
I re-used my rabbits to make a giant toad, and I'm re-using my elephant to make some more giant toads.
Here's my clay elephant back from the foundry ready for some impending unpleasantness.
The slippery surface must be scraped back since it's all covered in a release agent to facilitate easy mold rubber release. Can't save that stuff, so it goes in the trash.
A wire clay tool, a knife, and most dangerous of all, a cheese scraper, are all you need to get the job done.
The cheese scraper is dangerous only if your co-habitants spot you using it, when it might be all you have to defend yourself with against much more intimidating weapons. It's not very effective as an offensive weapon, or as a shield. Not so slippery now, the serious business of re-clay-mation can begin.
The box is starting to fill up nicely.

Ahh, if only shedding pounds was that easy.
A remnant of his former self ends up in the trash, (foam and pipes and wire covered in clay), while the rest gets to live another day.
Might have to get a bigger box.
He died that others might live.
Very 'circle of life', eh?
It's not all bad news for the elephant, he gets to enjoy eternal life as a bronze. Which should give him plenty of time to figure out whatever it is that's on his mind.
More stuff on my website.


Secretista said...

That's a beautiful sculpture.

Now what I wonder is if faith is avoiding the truth, how can it be that if I have faith that I'll get through a rough time and I do--was I wrong for believing?

Steve sculpts critters said...

Hello again, glad you like my elephant.

I think people will believe what makes sense for them to believe.
If it makes sense and is helpful to believe something, that's fine with me. Everybody does it (you can tell by how many different beliefs there are).
But it usually seems to makes sense for many reasons other than because it's true.
When of course someone believes it's true (after all they believe it, and it helps them, so it must be true right?) and insists on its absolute truth, that is where I say 'ok, prove it'.
If faith is the key to believing and any proof (other than based on 'feelings') is not forthcoming, insisting on its truth seems silly.

Someone might subscribe to a set of beliefs because becoming a part of or staying in a certain group of people might require it.
Or it helps them emotionally, or helps them make sense of the world, or explains their existence or gives them purpose or whatever.

But whatever it is, and why ever we believe it, if it requires faith to keep believing and can't be proved, it should never be insisted upon that it's absolutely true is all.

A strong emotional attachment can have people say 'I just know'.
I say 'no you don't (unless you can prove it), you just think you do'.

Trouble is saying 'but I could be wrong' doesn't usually sit well with faith.

Not many folks come to religion from an honest search for truth.
From a clean slate, a hard look at the facts, and decide 'yeah, that makes sense'.
Usually I'd say it happens from an emotional response to other people's concern for them (maybe during hard times), filling a need, and the person can say 'this is great. I can believe that'.

Then all you need is faith and your life is complete. Although it might not be the truth. Faith will most likely ensure you stick with it rather than seriously consider if it is really true or not.

This works in all areas of life in my view. Not just religion. Beliefs about books, music, food, exercise, diets, vacuum cleaners, places to live, you name it. You have to make a decision, most likely the decision isn't rational, it's relative. Relative to how it makes you feel.
MY truth, not THE truth.

Oh, I'm of course not immune to any of this myself. Half the crap in my house I don't really need is testament to that!
Anyway, thanks again for your reply.

Nancy said...

Oh, these are wonderful. Thanks for posting on my blog...I'd never have found out about your work otherwise.

And I was fascinated to see that it was possible to cast a difficult sculpture like your elephant without destroying the clay original.

Can you show "Senior Moment" on the site?

Nancy said...

For crying out loud, you studied with John Watkiss? I worked on some projects with him at Disney!

Steve sculpts critters said...

Yes, I learned more from him in the first half dozen life drawing classes I took (of about 30 altogether) than I learned in the 4 previous yrs of college. Seems art colleges didn't hire teachers who could demonstrate or teach by example.
Just offer enthusiastic encouragement and nebulous suggestions. I don't know if it's any better now.
I was always floored when I would pop over to the pointy hat bldg at disney and check out the whole floor (4th?) decked out with John's development paintings for Tarzan or the Mayan stuff, or whatever it happened to be.
They should have made a book of his Tarzan paintings. They were really something special. Danton Burroughs asked them to, but they declined since they aren't about promoting individual talent, and just sit on hundreds of unbelievable paintings forever instead.
Oh well.
Some folks, eh?

Anonymous said...

I Love this Elephant. They have been my favorite Animal since I was a Child. Very Beautiful Work & Detail!!

Thank u for your comment on my blog :)

Much Luvzzz~Jules

Unknown said...

Very interesting~thanks for sharing! I love your critters!
RE: your response to secretista - have you read Lee Strobel's Case for Faith? It is compelling with "truth" and interesting to boot. :-)

Steve sculpts critters said...

Hey Crock Pot Mom, thanks for checking out my critters and suggesting that book to read.
I'll check it out, but I should say that in my experience people 'find' God from anything other than a logical pursuit.

By the way, I'm not looking, I 'found' God years ago, later to realize I'd made a mistake.
It makes sense for people to believe, it just doesn't make logical sense.

We are, I suspect, not primarily driven by logic.
What I find funny is that once ensconced in a religious environment, folks learn 'answers' to logical obstacles that might come their way via the unbeliever (answers which once scrutinized fall apart fairly easily, but their purpose is to provide a veneer of credibility-just enough to satisfy if you're of a mind to stay convinced).

Why not just say 'I believe in x,y, or z because it makes sense for me to believe, even though it isn't logical'.
That would be more honest than pretending it actually is possible to conclude x religion is true simply by hard headed deduction.

Evangelists don't win converts by winning logical debates.
It's an emotional thing.
It satisfies an emotional need.
It's not a search for truth.

Anyhow, I'm making some sumo wrestling toads now.
Thanks again :D

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Oh, this is wonderful! I've been looking at some of your other posts, too. You're very good at this. Thank you for visiting my blog last week. I've been sick, so wasn't able to reciprocate until now. Have a great weekend!

Donna Griffin said...

Hey Steve Sculpts! and you surely do! Your critters are brilliant. I can't believe you would be looking at a teddy bear makers blog! Thanks, though, and I love any movie with Jackie Chan - you are right that the original "Around the World" movie was the best. I also agree that once you are an advocate of logic or science - the evangelicals just don't make sense.
Would love to see the sumo toads! My wee bit of sculpting to go with the bears is fanciful - not the extremely life like wonders that you do.

Steve sculpts critters said...

I found you by virtue of your interest in elephants.
It's fascinating to see all the different kinds of people who share a common interest.
By the way, your teddy bears are extremely cute.
Being creative in a positive way can have any number of expressions which are all good if you ask me.
Thanks for checking me out,

Roberto Zaghi said...

You do wonderful pieces, congrats!
I've always admired who has such a knowledge and craft for animals anatomy, wow!

Unknown said...

Thanks for your message on my blog.
Your animals are beautiful... and more the thinking elephant is very funny!

Sorry for my bad english...

The Art of Caitlyn Dailey said...

And I was more than impressed with how wonderful that sculpture came out!!