Thursday, November 26, 2009

Concrete Queen

I thought I would share my thoughts on “surviving” the adventure of attending a workshop at Caroline Moss’s. In a nutshell the concrete sculpture workshop was everything we hoped for and more. Caroline’s session at the MAANZ Symposium only gave a glimpse of what to expect, but certainly got us interested. There was no way in the world I were going to wait until February to get down and dirty!

From the moment you enter the property you know things are going to be wonderful. The drive, garden, pool area, patio and house are literally spilling over with sculpture. Everywhere you turn you see pieces to amaze and inspire...even in the vegie patch....the cherry tomatoes were so sweet and delicious!

I attended with a friend, Heddy. We were joined over the weekend by Tracy, another MAANZ supporter, who flew in from Melbourne for the adventure. Between us, we produced a lizard, a dog, a bird, an echidna, various fish and a Madonna and child. Whew! These pieces are now “curing” which leaves ample time for considering how and when mosaic embellishment will take place.

Caroline really is inspiring in her knowledge and prowess with her passion for her art, driving her (and us) at a manic pace. She is so sharing of her knowledge and she made everything look easy.....even beating a steel rod into submission! For both of us, her enthusiasm and drive was a highlight of our weekend. We worked solidly from 8.00am until 6.00pm both days, but were too excited to succumb to the exhaustion threatening to overtake us. As Tracy so aptly put it, “if they could market “Caroline” pills they would sell out”. Caroline was there at every point to mentor and support us....and she was still smiling at the end of the weekend. As were the rest of us – we really felt like we got in and gave it a go – and have the results to prove it.

Humour was a big part of the weekend. First there was the running commentary from Bob, Caroline’s husband. Yes, he is just like she described at the Symposium. Then there was the discussion relating to how the x-ray machines at the airport would cope with Tracy’s pieces. Imagine something very round (and echidna like), filled with nails and go from there – good thing it wasn’t an international flight as Customs would not have been amused. Then there was the “kill the March Fly” episode. Suffice to say, much fun was had by all.

So, to give you an idea of the fun and mayhem lets “count with Caroline”

1 – is for Caroline (she really is a delight)

2 – the projects completed (one steel/wire with cement the other polystyrene and cement)

3 – for the number of novice MAANZ members

4 – the number of tubs of mix per batch of concrete (1 cement and 3 sand)

5 – the number of books recommended (concrete sculpture techniques of course)

10 – the minutes “allowed” for lunch (can’t waste time eating J)

50 – the number of batches of concrete mixed and used (we are now all experts at handling a huge jackhammer style mixer and have concrete splattered legs to prove it)

90 – as in dollars, the cost of a roll of “bird wire” (we learnt lots of new terms)

150 – the number of times we got into trouble (for talking to Bob when we should have been working J)

2365 – the number of wire ties used (well it definitely seemed to be 1000’s!)

The photos tell the rest of the story.

All we can say is give it a go. It really was fantastic.

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