Exploring Sculpture (thanks to dengue)

In the month of July, Sri Lanka is known to have dengue break outs. The factory where I practice ceramics, was no different. 3 people working there had to be hospitalized. When in factory, I used to cover myself in Odomos as much as possible and top up this mosquito repellent cream every 2 hours. As more people got dengue, my husband and family tried to convince me not to go to the factory that month. And yes, I took a break!.

But the break made me VERY guilty of doing less of what I love. To compensate I ended up watching hours of sketching videos on YouTube and doing extensive library work for my M.Phil.  One good thing that happened as a result of my guilt was that I stumbled upon sculpture and decided to give it a shot earlier than I had thought. I had been taking sketching classes at my university as a prep for clay modelling. Dengue just expedited that process and I tried my hand at sculpture for the first time last week.

I traveled to Cardinal Coore Center in Negombo to see its sculpture workshop. I got to know about this center from a teacher, Mr. Asanka Jayasinghe, at the Department of Ceramics in my university. This center is some 40 km away from where I live in Colombo. Although I was curious to go and see the place, it was far and I thought that this will be a one-time visit to see how sculpture is practiced.

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At the workshop I saw a bunch of dedicated working professionals, who took out time every Saturday to learn this subject of interest. And they were fabulous at it. Moreover, the way Asanka sir was teaching, it made sculpting look doable. He focused on human anatomy while explaining how to carve out features in a portrait. I spent most of the day observing the students’ work.

 

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Later in the day I met Father Samantha, who manages these classes and is extremely passionate about sculpting. Father very kindly invited me to learn sculpting at his institute. My mindset of a one-time visit to this place changed the minute I entered the workshop, and there was no way I could let such an opportunity slip by. So I agreed immediately and am now determined to go there every Saturday!

We started with the basics of sculpting an eye last week. I was first asked to sketch an eye from various angles to understand its curvature and how it is positioned . Here is how the attempt looked.

First eye sculpture

 

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