Thursday, 19 February 2009

Assigning Gender

Yet again I had no classes this week - this time because it is school holidays. By the time I go back to my clay class next week it will have been five weeks since I last worked on my vase, and although wrapped well, I expect it to be quite dry. The tutor seems quite confident that we will be able to rehydrate it, so I'm not particularly worried.

My polar bear is coming along quite well now, I think. For a while I was really struggling and I turned to Scott and asked "Remind me why I thought this was a good idea?" His reply was "I don't know" - my sentiments exactly! But I think (or hope) I am past the most tricky stage now. The front legs are attached and I have started to work on the shoulder area.

I tried to fatten him up as Queeny suggested, but somehow he's looking a bit skinny again. Maybe I accidentally pressed the sides in. Oh well, I've heard that polar bears are much thinner these days, so maybe my bear will help raise awareness of their plight!

I still haven't really decided if this is a boy or a girl. With Swanee I didn't even think about it, it's only when Leanne referred to it as a "she" that it became a girl. With my polar bear I always intended for it to be a girl, and yet I caught myself referring to it as a "he", and both Queeny and Leanne have done likewise.

Do you always assign gender to your pieces? How do you decide if it's a boy or a girl? Do you make your mind up at the beginning, or do you wait to see how it turns out?


painter girl said...

What a good question!
I assign gender to almost everything especially things like our houses that we have lived in and our cars, and the most important...the Kilns!
I have only had one male kiln so far and he was a grumpy one. Very testy especially in cold weather.:) Hah!

I assign gender to my sculptures often. All the bunnies seemed mostly to be male and then one day I could tell one was a girl. It is a strange phenomenon. I can't tell if I assign before I begin to create, or if it happens during the process.

Love the polar bear. He is turning out nicely! And wow! That form is a challenge that you have mastered
with ease!

JafaBrit's Art said...

I am thinking the same as painter girl, that your form is really top notch.

I bet you will be glad to get back to class.

Undaunted said...

Thank you Leanne! Although I'm not sure about the "with ease" part! I don't know why I struggled so much with those front legs!

That is strange about the bunnies. Once the face is done I wonder if that will help me to decide?

Thank you Jafabrit! Wow, I've had such lovely comments lately!

The funny thing is I haven't missed class that much, probably because I'm working on my bear at home. But I can't wait to see Swanee!

Kathy L said...

Oh the bear is indeed coming along nicely. It is really neat to see him come along each week. Most of my work, well you can tell the paintings are female. It just happens. BUt your bear feels like a he. DOn't know why.


queencraftygirl said...

It's sometimes easier to assign gender to some pieces then others..I probably will have to see it's face first.

He (or she) is coming along very nicely!! Sorry you can't make his tummy a bit bigger but he still looks great!


Undaunted said...

Thank you Kathy! Yeah, I suppose it's different with portraits. I still want my bear to be a girl!

Thank you Queeny! You know, I cut portions of his(/her) tummy out on both sides and re-did them to try to make him fatter, and it looked like it had worked at the time. So I think I must have squashed his tummy in accidentally. I'll try to push it out again and pad it with paper.

Boy or girl, the bear already has a name anyway! I'll explain once he/she is finished!

cynthia said...

I don't worry about gender unless it's a critical component to the piece.

Oh, you must be having class withdrawal????

The polar bear is coming along nicely - I stand by my last statement that you're a born sculptor!

Undaunted said...

Thank you so much Cynthia!

Class withdrawal isn't so bad because I've had my polar bear to work on at home. I'm looking forward to seeing Swanee though!

Dave King said...

Loved your blog. Will definitely return.

Undaunted said...

Thank you Dave! :)