I’ve been told several times I should ‘network’ more with artists, meaning I should go to places where artists lurk and introduce myself. This is a great plan if you can do it.
Fortunately, an alternative came up last week because our town needed a stage* for a festival, and the team building the thing had found themselves down one artist due to illness. Getting to know people while building stuff is far easier than talking to complete strangers, so I joined the team on day 2 and by the evening we’d done this:
Which involved cutting and fitting hundreds of upright pieces of wood:
This is what happens when you ask artists to make a stage: they get all excited about making a piece of sculpture, beautiful on its own without a performance happening on it. Of course in practice that meant every upright was a different size.
A Proper Carpenter would have spent a day working out the radius of all the curves and then the exact sizes of the uprights to fit. We bent the curvy bits until they looked about right and measured from there to the ground and cut the wood to suit. It turns out that this works just as well, although we did have to stamp on some plywood sheets until they stayed put, and screw them down quickly before they sprung up again.
This was a joint project between artists from here and from our partner town in the Ukraine, so everything had to be discussed and in both languages. As an added advantage I can now ask for several tools in Ukrainian, and you never know whan that may come in handy.
We made it in time for the big festival on Sunday, and as an added bonus it hasn’t fallen down yet…
Three days later, I’ve made several new friends, been given a book on art and education which will come in very handy, and in lieu of payment, I’m getting a my very own woodcarving course from one of the artists I worked with.
That’s the sort of networking I can manage…
*Which makes the title of this post a very bad pun.