Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Raiders of the Lost Art?

Yesterday I went to school for a bit. My husband was home yesterday, even though today he works in Oklahoma and he should have left yesterday. But the financial situation is pretty bad, and he decided that he couldn't afford the extra fifty bucks or so for yesterday's motel room, even if they are going to pay him back for it in a couple of weeks. We just don't have the money now. So he stayed home an extra day.

But since he didn't tell me he was going to stay, I had already made plans to go to school for a bit, so I decided that I should go ahead and go. I had recorded about ten hours of television for my husband while he was gone last week, so he could entertain himself with that while I was gone. And as it turns out he spent the entire time sitting at the computer, and probably wouldn't have said three words to me if I had stayed.

I have already recycled most of the school's clay and have enough for me for the rest of the next class period, and I don't think that I will need anymore for the one after that. Actually, I'm not planning to go to the last class, since it is the same day as the Halloween Party and I will probably be busy. So I worked an extra hour last week, and then I worked an extra hour yesterday, so that will make up for a missed class.

Anyway, I have recycled most of the school's clay, except that there is a bit left to do that is on the floor, and a bit that got too dry so I put it back in the recycling bin. So I think that someone else can do that last little bit. If it is still there in a couple of weeks I'll come back and do it myself, and just keep it for later.

But I had found some more of this same clay that I had at home, and while I had worked on it last spring and it should have been all ready to go, I instead found that there was a hole in the bag and the clay had all dried out. Maybe a mouse put a hole in that bag while looking for food, or maybe it was just some accident that happened over the summer, but either way I had to soak the clay in water again, and it was all ready to go into the mill.

So I did that first thing Monday morning. Well, not quite first thing Monday, as I did not quite get there early enough to get a parking spot next to the building. So I parked in the next lot over, which isn't very far away at all, except when you have to carry something heavy, like a bucket of clay. So I got a bit tired, and my arms got a bit sore, but I managed to get it all to the building okay. And after an hour or so all of the clay that I brought with me was recycled, so I put it back in the bucket and covered it with a plastic bag.

Now, sometimes when I have to load or unload something in the car, and I can't find a good parking space, I will borrow a teachers' spot for just five or ten minutes. And I think that most of the teachers can figure out that I'm not really planning to leave my car in the teachers' spot all day, just for ten minutes or so, and they don't have a cow, especially if they are art teachers. But most of the teachers' spots were taken too, and I didn't want to use a handicapped spot, even for five or ten minutes. And that left the maintenance parking, and I'm not on the best of terms with maintenance, so in the end I decided that I could just carry the stuff back to the car. It hadn't killed me to carry it that far earlier, though it had been more difficult than I had imagined it would be.

So of course halfway to the car I dropped the bucket of clay. I'm not totally that clumsy, but the handle on the thing broke. It's a cheap bucket and can easily be replaced, and the clay was still covered by the plastic bag so nothing really bad happened. It was just so annoying, and my arms hurt a bit more, but I got everything back into the car.

Now in between getting the clay back into the car and working on the wheel for about an hour, I was looking for this piece that I did last year. Technically, it is a vase, but I doubt that anyone will ever put flowers in it. One of the other teachers actually said that she would be offended if anyone ever put flowers in one of her vases. I think that extreme is a bit silly, but really if you just want something to hold flowers then you'd probably just get something from Walmart. If you have a piece of art pottery, then you probably want to look at the pottery and not flowers.

So I was going to look at this vase, because the teacher had mentioned that someone might want to buy it, and I said that I would probably sell it if I could make another one. I wasn't entirely happy with the way the glaze turned out on this one, so if I could make another one I could have one that I liked better and still have the first one to sell to someone who likes it just the way it is. The vase is put together of a lot of cut out little pieces, which takes a long time, but I was thinking that it would be possible to cut out the pieces at home and then take the pieces to the lab to assemble, and that way it wouldn't take up so much of my lab time. Only I did need to have a look at the original vase first, and I couldn't seem to find it.

So I thought that it must be in the professor's office, only he said that it wasn't. He thought that I had taken it home. No, I'm pretty sure that I didn't. And I know that we had stored a lot of stuff in the tool room, but I had already looked in there for something else last week, so I knew that it wasn't there. The last time I saw the vase it was in a certain storage room, but the professor didn't think it was there, but I looked anyway. Not there. And then he thought that it was in a different storage room, because he had moved a lot of things there. So I found four of my dragons, but not the vase I was looking for.

Are you sure that you didn't take it home with you?

I'm pretty sure that I did not, because I didn't want to risk something happening to it while I was doing the major cleaning and moving bookshelves and all of that. But I said that I would look again before I went and complained about the vase being missing. I have heard a lot of people say that they liked the vase, so maybe someone just took it. Stolen stuff is not unheard of, but it is usually tools that turn up missing rather than art.

Accidents more often happen with the art. Maybe someone broke it and just put the evidence in the trash before anyone else noticed. That has also happened in the past. And if I was that worried about it I should have taken it home right away instead of leaving it there over the summer.

We give up looking and I work on the wheel. And then the professor remembers that it is in a display case. I didn't know that we were having a student show, and I was pretty sure that I had looked at the display cases Saturday, so unless someone put up a new show on Sunday, I didn't think that it was in a display case. But the professor remembers that someone borrowed a few things for the library. Okay.

So after I got done with the wheel, I walked over to the library, and there it was.

And I like that glaze even less than I remembered. So I'm really hoping that I can do another one and sell that one.


dmarks said...

Maybe endeavor to get a photo of the piece in the cases in the vase?

"and I didn't want to use a handicapped spot, even for five or ten minutes."

That sort of thing incurs my wrath, so I am glad that you did not.

laughingattheslut said...

Out in the rest of the world, leaving a parked car in a handicapped space for any length of time is not acceptable, and you can get a ticket even if you are just loading the car. They might let you off if you left someone else with the car so that you could move it if a handicapped person showed up and needed the space. Except that if you had such a person with you, there's no need to use the handicapped parking space, as you could leave the car even closer to the door in a place that people are not supposed to park at all. In a school parking lot, you would still get a ticket for using a handicapped space, though I suppose you could also get a ticket for using a teacher or maintenance space, I just think that they use reason and if they see that you are just loading the car you can talk your way out of that ticket.

What may get interesting is that we now have a handicapped student in our Saturday class, and he has the little handicap thing hanging from his mirror that allows him to park in the handicapped space, but he parks in the spaces striped for teachers. The handicapped spaces are closer to the main building, but the teacher spaces are closer to the art building. There are plenty of empty teacher spaces on a Saturday, so they shouldn't mind that he takes one. For that matter, there are so many empty teacher spaces on a Saturday that they should not care if the whole class takes a dozen, but the rules are the rules and the rest of us haven't tried it yet. So I am wondering if he will get a ticket for being in the teacher parking area.