random fantastical thought

A random fantastical thought literally just came upon me a few minutes ago: When I was in the studio earlier today I briefly contemplated making some slipcast bowls, so what if I went further and merged my thesis MRP with Empty Bowls? I really don’t know how feasible that would be: This seems to be a lot of work for a “small scale experiment”, and there will probably be a ton of problems doing this for thesis MRP. But this will actually be a very “32 Pigeons” thing to do (that is, “any work we do must be in response to a real art call”), which is actually kind of cool—but odd, since 32 Pigeons has not been active for almost a year already. Maybe the simple slipcast bowls will be the real “small scale experiment” (and if that works out I will attempt “blocking and casing” and then carving into the mould), and if that works out I’ll propose merging my thesis MRP with Empty Bowls. Somehow.

Dabbling with plaster

So I took some time to try making something with plaster the first time, without any guidance. It’s kind of a disaster. First I had no “feel” or when I have added enough plaster, so I stirred the plaster mixture too early. I didn’t realize I had to vaseline the base, and I probably poured the plaster twice. Then the school building closed for the day, so I could not work on it when it was still workable. So when I got back to the plaster studio today I was surprised the thing was still wet. But of course I couldn’t do anything with it any more. If I use a scraper to dislodge it from the base, it just breaks, and weirdly enough the plaster seems to be in two layers. Anyway, I could still do my experiment, so I took my ball tool and tried to poke some dots on the plaster, and the dots were not well-formed. I really don’t know what to say now. It seems that I can’t really work on the mould as I originally planned, or maybe it’s just because I was not working it when it was still workable. So I suppose this calls for a second experiment—one where I would have enough time to try working the plaster when it was still workable. In the meantime, my project now looks even less feasible than I thought.

I’m probably going to pass probation

Tuesday I bumped into Jane, one of the gammas, and told her that technically I still don’t have an advisor because I’m just on probation, so to speak. Yesterday I had another consultation, and the good news is that it looks like I’m going to go out of probation soon, which while in itself is significant, it’s also important because it’s an objective evaluation that I’m probably really back on track—even if it looks like everything it still hosed up. Hopefully it will be the first option I told Jane instead of the second option.

The C-5 worked, but not the A-5 or the B-5

So I spent about 10 minutes testing the nibs I got a couple of weeks ago. The C-5 worked, but not the A-5 or the B-5. In fact neither the A-5 nor the B-5 even did anything. It is possible to write relatively small with the C-5. In fact it is very difficult to write large.

Happy too soon…

ATutor’s email links are still un-RESTful. The bug has not been fixed. Since I am sure it worked a few days ago, I’d say the bug has become even more serious than before: It now occurs randomly… Sigh. How long does it really take for the ATutor devs to fix these serious usability bugs?

Apparently, ATutor’s RESTfulness bug has been fixed

Clicking on forum post links in email no longer sends us back to a course home page. So it looks like this serious bug has finally been fixed. Still no idea why the bug existed in the first place, but this is some good news.

A real course this term

This semester we have a real course again. It can even be anything really. But I missed the course add deadline, so what I have is just what I would have had if there were still no electives in our program. Anyway, it’s an ATutor course too, complete with forum discussions which we have not had for two straight semesters. It’s embarrassing but having seen so many complaints on Canvas, ATutor — with all its numerous and serious failings — doesn’t really look so bad any more. It’s embarrassing but I feel at home doing these ATutor discussions. I can even fantasize about being able to just do this ATutor stuff and pass program requirements. But of course I know this isn’t real. Unlike another “real university” here which shall remain unnamed, we don’t have course-based programs here; we are an art school, we have higher standards =P

Autopilot on, destination trainwreck

So the eagerly anticipated meeting happened. And during the meeting I became as confused as two months ago. And after the meeting I felt depressed. Maybe depressed isn’t the right word, since I didn’t think of literally dying or killing myself. But I had stuff to finish and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. I just headed to the studio to calm down. One hour into wedging I realized what I had gotten really was just a crit. It just meant there’s something wrong with my concept and I just needed to work on it. But that was the best I was able to put out after literally half a year of confusion. I strongly doubted I could put out anything better, especially if it’s going to likely involve another drastic shift in direction. There were no pins. The bat shifted. The coils didn’t work. The bat shifted. The bat kept shifting and I couldn’t fix it. After what felt like eternity I just took out the bat, wrapped it in two layers of plastic, and put it aside. I’m going to get some screws from home and see if any will fit the holes. I need to remember starting the day trying to throw anything complicated is a really bad idea. Obviously, by the time I left it was almost 12. No more time left to think. Or write, for that matter. On the train back home I checked my texts. “When is the first class?”


Today is December 14 and it is now 5pm, so basically I have to leave now. I have so far accomplished absolutely nothing today. When it was 3pm I was thinking about whether to go down to school or to stay. The decision felt logical: Go down and lose an hour, and it takes an hour and 45 minutes to get back, so I would have only 60 minutes to do work. Or stay home and have 3 hours to try to do some work. Staying home felt logical. But it was my conversation with Brandon a few weeks ago that was more logical: After class he asked if I would be going home, and I told him I wanted to stay behind and go to the studio to try to do some work. I told him if I went home there would be a 0% chance I would do any work, and if I stayed in the studio I might have a 50% work of getting some work done. Stay behind, he reasoned, 0% chance vs 50% chance, 50% chance was clearly better. Too bad I have fallen prey to my illogical reasoning today. I should have gone down and have that 50% chance of getting an hour’s worth of work done; I should have known if I stayed home there was 0% chance of getting anything done…


(Mug shot of 2013 11 06 A)

Yesterday was sort of an important day for me, since I got some of the affirmation that I so badly needed, while at the same time saw the importance of sticking to your gut feelings. And no, the one does not exclude the other.

The fact that I had only one piece of work left at the end of the day despite not feeling confident about what I had put out spoke volumes. The fact that there were people who chose my work despite having a huge selection of other works I felt were clearly better spoke volumes. And yes, it does take this for what some have been saying to even ring true.

(Of course, Robin later said she wouldn’t allow any bad work to be put out. So the result should not have been surprising at all, but I never knew until later.)

But I also keep worrying about that one piece that originally failed vetting, later put out for re-vetting by mistake, and eventually passed second vetting. That’s why you never put out work that you think is probably not ok, even if others say it’s ok.

The challenge, I guess, is to balance the two.

Syndicate content