March 29, 2001 Bangkok, Thailand
Well, well, well. Looks like things are working out for Bronze Foundry part of this trip. I just finished having breakfast with Paul Cavanagh of the Paul King Foundry. In an hour a car is picking us up to drive us down to the foundry in Chachoengsao. It seems like I wont even have to worry about how to ship my sculptures back home because Paul sends a container loaded with pieces made here back to New England every once in a while. The next one is scheduled for June which would be perfect for me. They also do enlarging at this foundry so that if I like the smaller version of the Dance they could blow it up to life size for me. Sounds like this could work out for me and my dreams of making large bronze sculptures.
Down at the Foundry I finally got my hands on some modeling clay
I had a wonderful dinner last night just down the street from my hotel here. Wild mushroom soup and then a rack of Lamb. A nice little touch was a small dollop of lemon sorbet after the soup to clear the pallet. A glass of good French wine and very nice surroundings and attentive service completed the atmosphere. I wished that Marianne was there to share it with me so for desert I had a delicious Creme Brule which I shared with her in my imagination.
I felt like an old hand arriving at the Bangkok Airport. I knew where I could get a hotel room, where to catch a cab and about how much it would cost so I didn't let the driver talk me into turning off the meter. I've also learned not to put up with annoyances if they can be avoided. After turning out the lights and lying there in the dark listening to machinery noises I called the front desk and changed rooms even they I had already taken a shower, gotten into the bed and it was 2am. The next morning after having breakfast at a Starbuck's on Sukumvit I stopped into a little travel agency to see about how to get to Chachoengsao. The owner was very helpful and called my contact at the foundry to find out exactly where I was trying to go. That was how I learned the Paul Cavanagh was due to arrive in Bangkok that day. So I was booked into the same hotel he was staying at. After I had checked in there and had gone to have lunch at Jim Thompson's House I came back to find that when the manager found out I was associated with Paul she decided to move me to a better room up on the top floor. After I moved and lay down for a little nap I started hearing a motor noise that would come on for about ten seconds every two minutes. I went up to the roof and sure enough there was a water pump mounted right over my bed. So once again I moved. So in less that 20 hours I was in five different hotel rooms. I think that is a record for me.
I've got clay on four of the figures. Only the jumping girl still needs to be roughed in
March 30, 2001 Chachoengsao, Thailand
The Siam Art Cast foundry is quite a setup. There is great potential for me to do a lot. The more immediate problem is that I'm a bit rusty when it comes to playing with the modeling clay. Part of the problem is that the clay is quite heavy compared to the flexibility of the wire maquettes I've made. So when I start adding the clay everything starts shifting and twisting and moving. Especially when there are five figures and the circle doesn't quite close. The gap keeps shifting. So I've got to figure out how to deal with that. (Writing that and looking over at the piece I realize that since I'm only building a model for the casting I can actually connect the two figures with wire and stabilize the the circle. I'll hardly see the wire once the clay makes the rest thicker and that little wire part just wont be part of the finished piece. Thinking for ending up in bronze is different!)
The view out my hotel bedroom here in Chachoengsao. The river is tidal so it flows both ways
I'm holed up in a quasi luxury hotel gone to seed out in the middle of no where. 300 rooms but maybe 10 to 20 guests. The hall and elevator carpets are badly stained and have numerous cigarette burns and yet every night in the lobby/ restaurant area a piano and bass player play for almost nobody. Quite strange. Paul went back to Bangkok for the weekend, but is coming back on Monday with several other artists who have stuff being made at the foundry. So it should be social then. I'm feeling homesick. I miss Marianne and want to be there with the whole gang. My flight from Bangkok is scheduled for the 10th so I'm thinking that I'll use that as a deadline for working out this piece. As the song goes:
"There are two things that an artist needs,
A deadline is one,
But the only time that he's satisfied
Is when that deadline's done."
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