021. Ordinary World.

11Jan08

Now I know I’ve been hanging out with my art teacher too much.

You see, there are two art teachers with rooms in the building, and one without a room. The two with rooms have been there for years and years, the new guy is awesome but this is is his second year.

Teacher WK, whom I have never had, is super-concerned with safety and teaches the 2D arts (drawing/paint, design). I work in her room occasionally, and she quietly fussed over the way I was breaking my ceramic/glass tiles, requiring me to cover them as I wacked away with my hammer. A very good idea, as I’ve been cut by flying tile many times in this damn project.

Teacher K is the one I’ve had the entire time. She does the 3D arts- ceramics, jewelry, sculpture. She also rarely is concerned with safety, unless you happen to be a dumbass. I have never worn safety glasses when I solder metals. When etching, I could have (and probably did) breath the chlorine gas accidentally as I turned my head. The flying tiles and glass are no concern at all.

I adore her for this. She is careful, in a way- no major accidents have ever occurred. Unless you count the idiot who set their paper towels on fire with the soldering torch, but she just dumped water on that.

The reason I’m mentioning her lack of extreme carefulness is because she lets me get away with a lot of shit, as long as I figure the consequences. I skipped three consecutive classes today just to stay in the art room and finish grouting my mosaic. It was four periods of heaven.

The issue was, after I got done grouting, I realized I couldn’t use a sponge to get the extra off. It kept disintegrating and leaving blue sponge in the tilecracks. Finally, I started using my fingers.

Here’s my where my love of Teacher K comes in: I was getting sliced by the tiles. My fingers now resemble a cutting board, full of lines. Two of them, on the index and middle finger of my right hand, bled pretty damned badly. And the best part? She looked at my fingers, gave me a bandaid. Then, she hooked me up with athletic tape that way I could continue using the other fingers for the same job. And the tape couldn’t get soggy and come off like a bandaid. She basically let me cut my hands to pieces.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why is this awesome? You idiot, you’re getting hurt!” It’s awesome because if I couldn’t use my fingers, if I did things the safe way, my piece would look like shit. She understood that I needed to use my fingers, despite the safety risks, to get that mosaic how I wanted. And she taped up my fingers and we joked about the sacrifices of art and she let me do things in a stupid, unsafe way that most teachers would have blanched at because she got it.

And I realized I was spending too much time with her when I thought about superglueing a gaping bit of flesh together, instead of bothering with a band aid. It would take a minute to dry and poof! Instaseal. I got the idea from her- just tape the damn thing in a way that doesn’t constrict movement and keep going, keep slicing yourself until you get the work done.

I adore her.

By the way, the project is this this medium-sized mosaic I’ve been working on, maybe a foot by three feet. The design is of a white tree branch, extending across the piece. The leaves and background on the right half are grey and slate, leaves falling of and dying. A sharp line divides the two, and the grey backdrop turns glossy black and the leaves are suddenly on the branches again, all in riots of color and layers.

I’ve been breaking and gluing the damned tiles (glass, ceramic, random stone, slate) for weeks now. I got all the grout done today. Monday, I’ll be cleaning and reglueing and eventually, once everything is clean, regrouting the areas that need this. This piece will be my final- I now have blood and sweat in it. Next time I cry, I’ll be sure to add the tears.

In other news, if I ask to walk alone, I mean it. It means I need to feel the wind alone, possibly slip off and sob hysterically for a while. And I know you guys are worried about a girl walking alone at night, but, seriously. It’s well lit. I always act like I’m armed, unless I’m sobbing behind a building. And I bitch to cover the fact I need to cry.

As everything was happening, as everyone was talking and laughing, I felt dissonant. The only thing to keep me grounded was the fan’s chill breath across my cheek, reminding me of the cold winds just outside. I’m a wind person. Storms make me happy. Being able to stand outside and freeze myself to the bone as a cold wind invades my every being is my idea of a comfort. And suddenly I couldn’t stand being inside another moment. It wasn’t anything that anyone did- I was simply struck by the need to be alone, damnit. I had been gearing up fro it all day, I realize. My mouth had been spitting curses right and left, including a hardy “FUCK” accidentally in front of my teacher. Which I got in trouble for. I was ready for a meltdown at any point.

And a well-meaning friend had another walk with me. Poor guy got bitched at the entire way. And halfway through the walk I started crying and crying and trying not to let him know and I hate it. When I laugh I always end up tearing up. I yawn, I tear up. I’m used to tears. Crying has never really bothered me either- I just cry, get over it in a moment. The issue was that I hate crying in front on people when I know they’re dealing with shit too.

Once we got to the art opening we were heading for, I found my mom and let myself cry. I told her it was about my aunt. And, in a way, it was. It was stress, it was everything going right and wrong at once, it was a goodbye and a hello and a passage. Hell, I still need to cry.

I may just go outside and stand in the wind for an hour or so. Or, until my mom comes home. There’s something oddly comforting about sobbing, about standing in the cold and being alone. The best part is that no one is there to say “no”, that I’m not doing it for attention. I’m doing this for me.

EDIT : of course, if you add a lot of songs sung to the wind and a frisbee, the dog gets a lot out of this little comfort as well.

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