The oldest letter was from 1775. The sweetest find was four 78 rpm recordings of my grandmother (known as the Oklahoma Nightingale) singing from her barnstorming career as headliner for the silent movie circuit. And then there were friends and family for whom the only physical remainder was in my hands.
Upon reentering my sculpture world, I carried forward curating. Some of my sculpture experiments and intentions were great. Others produced only the detritus of lost dreams, useless tools, aging materials and sincere written plans for great accomplishment. Out they went, perhaps saving a memory token to puzzle whomever curates my leftovers.
I'm an experimenter and an innovator with both ideas and materials. I started out in oil clay, then Terra Cotta (water clay), moved on to traditional lost-wax bronzes, experimented with plaster, researched ferro-cement, taught myself welding to create Flourishes, laid up fiberglass, learned to create new Swoopieprototypes with 3D technology, and most recently, moved to larger-than-life carbon fiber Swoopiesculptures.
My studio space reflected this meandering path through a whole forest of materials and techniques. Eight large bookcases were crammed with anatomy, art, photography and painting reference materials. Boxes of wax dancer macquettes were nuzzled in along early bronzes of (can you imagine?) cowgirls. Steel pipe was leaning against prototype 3D prints. My 3D printers sat among my hot wax tools. You get the idea. Picture every piece of clothing you ever wore draped somewhere in your studio.
Now, I've not read the book or seen the Marie Kondo series on The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But one of those nearest and dearest to me (whose name shall remain--Deborah) suggested that I look at my melange of art paraphernalia with an eye to what gives me joy now.
Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Today. Right now.
So began the purge. Fellow artists kindly relieved me of many of my reference materials. Our high school art department was delighted to take the 2-D materials for its students. My fellow model railroaders are now enjoying all of those kits and scenery acquired for a bygone dream. Duplicate power tools found a new home with those who need them to build habitat.
It felt like I was giving away big parts of my life, but the parts were acquired for chasing a dream and--well, dreams change. The rear-view mirror doesn't indicate where I'm going. And I enjoy having uncluttered space. It seems like every great leap forward in my life has started with a clean desk, and now it is real clean. So look out. Ideas are flowing faster than I can imagine their creation. I am moving into major joy.
Watch this space.