As a kid, I used to love school field trips. Aside from getting out of school, the trip itself was usually something fun and memorable. After one such outing to a museum, and without much forethought, I decided I wanted to be a sculptor. I’m not sure how old I was at the time, around eight or nine I think. I do remember being quite impressed by the statues and figurines on display. Fascinated, really. Everything looked so real, so exact, so perfect.
Back at school, we watched a film on how sculptors did their work. The art of sculpting, it said, was intensive and required skill, both in imagination and artistic ability. Well, I immediately discounted the possibility that it could be difficult. I figured since I could draw, and had never lacked for an imagination, then I could certainly be a sculptor. How hard could it be anyway?
At home that afternoon, I found my dad’s tool box, picked out a couple of chisels, along with a hammer, and went searching for a rock. A big rock. Time to make my mark on the world!
I spent a few hours chiseling (pounding with the hammer until I got a chunk of rock to fracture and come off) and then studying my progress. I hadn’t decided what I would make beforehand. I think I was hoping something would start to emerge and then I’d just go with that. Well, as you can imagine, things didn’t go quite that way. After several hours all I had was, well, a rock. A smaller rock than I’d started with, but still just a rock.
Okay, I thought, maybe they’d been right. Perhaps sculpting was indeed hard to do.
A few years later, I tried my hand again. I was older, had a better idea of what to do, but while there was a little improvement, the result was about the same. And so, although I hate to give up, hate to admit defeat on anything, I realized that maybe sculpting wasn’t for me.
Then, after high school, I went to work at a dental laboratory where we fabricated dental appliances; dentures, crowns, bridges, etc. The process is a little drawn out but it begins by designing the prosthesis in wax. Generally, a pre-formed mold is used, which is then customized to match the existing teeth, gums, and facial features. This is accomplished with various tools, one of which is a wax carver, also known as a sculptor. And sometimes the appliance is made from scratch. It was probably two or three years before I discovered that what I was doing was sculpting.
Remember how I said I don’t like giving up or admitting defeat? Well, I suddenly found a new inspiration. I made all sorts of things; guns and holsters, cars, birds, little faces and figurines, anything I could think of. Mostly, I stuck to wax sculptures but some of the stuff, I chose to make out of stone or metal. And surprisingly, they all turned out! No, my “art” will never be displayed in a museum and it’s definitely not the picture of perfection but I did manage to become a sculptor—of sorts. Hmm, maybe it’s time to try my luck on a rock again.
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile – http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice-President of Rave Reviews Book Club.