This is the last full day of sculpting as tomorrow is hollowing-out and tweaking only. My role today is therefore – one-by-one – to prompt, cajole and encourage. And feed them biscuits at appropriate times. We are all getting tired. Sculpting is demanding on the body and mind. Each student in turn has a small crisis, getting frustrated with their progress. Then I see them move on. By the end of the day they have fallen back in love with their sculptures, or at least made peace with them. You need to sculpt enough to have the confidence that if you just continue, it will come right, you will get the likeness.
Dave our model is a real star. It is not only because he has an interesting face and posture. Despite it being the end of day four he remains very professional and friendly. Willing to strip down to a singlet in order for us to see his neck muscles and his collar-bone, despite the cold. I struggle during the day to keep him warm. Especially after blowing the fuses in one side of the room and losing our best heater to the class next door. But all-in-all a good day. Hoovered up the worst of the clay on the floor before the Sunday session. I know we will all be struggling tomorrow against road closures and parking restrictions with the half-marathon. While normally I can run down the hill to the Phoenix Brighton, on Sunday I need to take more paraphernalia – such as old pillows, towels, hollowing-out tools, smaller armatures, more books, empty jam jars for making slip. And then to ship everything back to my already bursting-at-the-seams home. Can’t wait until I can move into my new studio.