April 2, 2001 Chachoengsao, Thailand

Last night's thunderstorm cooled things down a bit. My morning walk didn't drench me in sweat like on the days before. Followed by a swim in the pool. I've been complaining for days now about how it needs to be cleaned up. I did get them to add some water and put in chlorine, but though they promised to vacuum the bottom and clean the black ring around the top of the waterline that didn't happen. This morning I talked to some of the new management that has just taken over the hotel. So we shall see if the paper napkin that has been lying on the bottom of the pool ever since I have been here will still be in residence when I go for my late afternoon swim. I think I'm going to go to the foundry today with my model and see how long it would take for them to make a wax model from it which I could work on to get the details a bit more worked out. Things like the shape of the feet which I find it hard to work at since I have attached my model to a wooden base.


April 3, 2001

I took my clay over wire maquette to the foundry today. I was thinking that maybe they could make a mold of it and then use the mold to make a plaster or wax version which I could refine a bit more. Paul Cavanagh looked at my maquette for a long time. Then he brings in the man in charge of the mold making department and a manager to translate. After a lot of back and fourth Paul tells me that it would be a really tough sculpture to make a mold from and that he thinks I should instead use the clay piece as a model from which I would make a wax models of each of the figures. Then the foundry would use my waxes to bronzes which they would weld together to make my piece.

Here it is Tuesday morning and my plane leaves on Sunday and I have to start all over working in wax (and not the regular sculptor's wax but the much harder wax that they use for pouring into the molds to make the waxes for casting). That is all well and fine except that I don't know how to work with hard wax and I'm not good at making exact copies of anything even using materials that I'm sort of good at using and I can't use any wire to guide me...

Well you can imagine that I was a bit bummed by this idea. So I pressed the issue a bit and they can make a mold from my clay The Dance, it just isn't easy. So I'm going to try to make a wax version and if that doesn't turn out well we can use the clay version as a backup. That takes the pressure off of me. And, what the hell, if I like the wax version I could have both of them cast. It is always fun to have a choice.

We had a big party tonight which I'll tell you more about later. A great feast for about 25 of us: eight farangs and the rest Thais working at the foundry. I brought my guitar along which was a lot of fun.

The food kept coming in dish after delicious dish. I had no idea what some of it was, but if you don't want adventure, don't travel

Now I'm tired and feeling like I need to go to sleep. I wish Marianne was here. A wonderful thing is that I know Marianne will be here with me someday in the future. This foundry here is a really good place. They do very good work and are nice pleasant people to work with.

Paul Cavanagh took Karen Petersen and I for a little sightseeing. First we went to a temple which is famous for the fruit bats that literally hang out in the trees around the temple.


After that we went to the temple in Chachoengsao where Paul bought us each a Packet containing a candle, a bouquet of flowers, a bundle of insense sticks and several pieces of gold leaf.I lit a candle, burned incense, put gold leaf on some Buddhas, and

Lighting the Candles is the first step.

Then holding the flowers and incense you kneel down before the burning candles.

When I kneeled down I thought about my family and prayed that our grandchildren and grandchildren to be would lead good happy lives. I thought of them enjoying our family compound on the Vineyard. I don't believe in God. I don't think that there is some being out there who will answer my prays and do what I ask. What I do believe in is the power of the human mind to imagine things that haven't happened and then to work to make them become realities. That's what I do when I have an idea for a sculpture. I think about it and play with the idea until I start to see it. Then I try to make it. It is often hard at first because my dreams are dreams and often impossible to directly make real. But by concentrating on the overall goal and being flexible about the details, constantly adapting to the current realities, there is a point where the sculpture starts to become "alive" to me in the sense that I feel like I'm no longer the one making the decisions. Just looking at the piece it starts to tell me what needs to be done. This part is too long, that should really be over there, etc. I think that's a lot of what being an artist is all about. Your life is the most important thing you will ever help create. I think prayer is a good way to help figure out what is important to you; what goals you should work to accomplish.

There are a lot of different idols you can put the gold leaf on

Each one probably has a special meaning. Not knowing what those meaning are I naturally went for the bald guy.

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