Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pain. Excruciating Pain.

Meet Gnorman. Gnorman the Skeletal Garden Gnome.
I've been working on Gnorman for nearly the entire semester in my beginning clay sculpture class.
Three to four days a week, six to seven hours a day, on average.
I showed Mr. ShellHawk pics of Gnorman before Gnorman went into the kiln to be fired. He looked at the pictures and said: "That's creepy. You're weird. But I love you." Life is good, right?

I went to school early today. It's the end of term and the last day of school is Monday, so I wanted to start glazing Gnorman so he'd be ready for the glaze firing on Friday.

I got up and got myself to school at 8:00a.m., two and a half hours before class started, as is my habit. When I got to school, the kiln was cooling down. A couple of other students were there, students who were in their sixth semester of the class and thus able to judge when to open the kiln without getting in trouble. It was still at 230 degrees, so we didn't open it. We waited a half hour, then propped it open about an inch and a half.

I couldn't resist. I looked in.

My heart sank. Gnorman was lying up against the side of the kiln. It was obvious that parts of him had exploded in the kiln.

It was agonizing, not being able to throw the kiln open and assess the full damage. It was hours of waiting. Then, the moment of truth came.

This is what was left of Gnorman.
The only thing that survived was his hat, which I don't think I'll even bother glazing. My teacher was at meetings today, but she let me know not to pitch him as he may be able to be repaired. She hasn't seen him yet, and though she's the expert, I doubt I can repair him. There are cracks running the length of his body on the inside of the sculpture. Worst of all, he destroyed another student's sculpture when he exploded. So now, I feel guilty and terrible. This freakin' sucks.

I can't even begin to express my disappointment. This was essentially his third build, as I'd had problems both times I went away for an extended period of time. I have tentative plans to make another run at this concept, but honestly, I have projects for my haunt this year that I've put aside for school that I now urgently need to get started.

Where are the damn martinis?


  1. OMG! That iust breaks my heart!! So, so sad.

    He looks amazing, even in pieces. Hope you can save some of him! I am sure you will make many more amazing pieces!!


  2. Oh! That is just heartbreaking, I am truly, truly sorry :(

  3. Thanks guys. My neighbor is bringing the emergency vodka as we speak. I should feel better shortly! ;op

  4. That made me physically hurt...he looked awesome...just know there is more from where he came from.

    Hope the emergency vodka helps :)

  5. That's heart-breaking. Poor Gnorman.

  6. I actually gasped :( I'm so sorry. SO sorry.

    Even if you can't put Humpty-Dumpty back together again, you might be able to do something cool with the remains.

  7. I am still a sad panda. Last night brought two martinis, viewing of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog AND my Blu-Ray version of the original Halloween (I hate Rob Zombie's version). I glazed some other pieces last night, but my heart was heavy.

    I'll make another run at Gnorman soon, though.

  8. I am so sorry to what haapen to Gnorman. He looked awesome. I hope you will be able to salvage some part of it.

  9. Good news from teacher today: she says he can be repaired. I just got offline from ordering a special bisque repair that can be fired. With some luck, Gnorman will grace my yard by October!

  10. I am glad that Sknorman can be deHumpityDumptied. If he couldn't have been I might have suggested you make another and use the first as props for the Death Gnome. A body at his feet so to speak.

    I spent long hours trying to hollow out my first clay sculpture and I am not sure what happened to it... I never saw a fired end product... mind that was decades ago. I think it went to slip heaven.
    ~Darrell Wade AKA BelGnorman the Gnome

  11. Hell and carp, Hawk Girl, another one? What are you using for clay, C4? Stolloween said it. Feels like someone just stepped on my chest with cleats.

    Go put on "Shaun of the Dead and fast forward to the end where they're pounding the zombie bartender on the head with pool cues in time with Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now".

    That's good medicine anytime. :)

  12. Spook- I love that you know me well enough to know that I own Shaun of the Dead and I know exactly the scene you're talking about.

    And you're right! It IS good medicine!


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