Blog, you remember when I undertook to create a doll out of polymer clay some weeks ago, and managed (after a ridiculous number of hours) to complete the head and torso. Well, this long weekend it was back to work on this daunting project.
There I was, feeling I had suffered enough having dealt with making the calves too fat and the feet too big. (I was about to put the whole thing in to bake when I decided to remove a chunk from the middle of each foot.) And having the heels out of proportion with the toes. And the arches wrong. And those tiny toenails looking mutant. But no...it got worse.
My doll went into the oven perfectly posed on a box the height of her eventual rock seat. I checked on her (fortunately) a few minutes later to find that her torso had pitched way forward. Out of the oven quick! Then I discovered although warm polyclay is bendable, bend it more than a tad and it simply cracks. Both legs came off, the knees split, and one foot cracked.
This was actually NOT the moment I seriously thought of throwing in the towel. That came later, believe it or not.
Okay, back to the torture. Next day, closer examination of the legs required me to do a lot of tweaking and clean up with carving. Polyclay carves well, fortunately. But wouldn't you think, Blog, that having taken four hours to do those legs, they wouldn't need more work? One calf was still too big! Etc. Argh. And then I fit them back on the torso, discovering in the process that during first baking, one of the knees got twisted in a very odd way.
This was the moment. The about-ready-to-admit-defeat moment. I had suspected when I started that this would be one of those challenges that was more than I could handle, but I figured it would be like portraiture is for me: given enough time, I eventually get it right. Maybe so, but it was looking like "enough time" might end up being about as long as it took to write, film and edit the entire series of "Lost."
Plus, I was really getting sick of working on something that wasn't very fun. What I love about polyclay is (1) working with colors and (2) the quick results. Obviously this doll was not in the latter category, but I was also really tiring of ecru. Human flesh is a damn boring color after awhile. I should have elected to make one of those beings from "Avatar."
Problem is, to admit defeat would be to have wasted the 20-something hours I've put into this thing. That was even more depressing.
I'd like to say this Being in Over Your Head thang is "an excellent learning experience," "character-building," and all that. But Blog, it may also be something that conveys but one lesson: don't overestimate your abilities. I guess we'll see when it's all over.