2/13/10

failure

when i think back to 2005, not that long ago so its easy to dig into my mental archive, i remember trying like the devil to drill through some rusty steel and not making a DENT. i figured it couldn't be done with a hand drill. tod and i knew nothing. NOTHING. we actually took the steel to a hardware store and had the guy drill through it to show us how to do it. what we realized was, the house drill that i was using sucked. i knew not one thing about power tools. drill bits. how to do much more than use a screwdriver, one could argue over even THAT.

i have had a steep learning curve but as my work becomes more functional the learning curve is more like a steep 45 degree angle being attempted at a high speed. you are bound to have accidents. things will die. pieces have to be put back together. as with the above piece. my puzzle table. i had the fancy idea about putting wheels on it, thinking if it rolled around there would be less picking up of it, less chance to ruin it. what i wasn't thinking about was physics. i was more obsessed with how it looked so i wanted those wheels to be tight inside. any idiot would probably know that isn't going to work but we all know my poor brain cells have long been destroyed and i dont have much to work with. after two attempts to get those wheels on (the first attempt failed so i had to unscrew the wood blocks which were heavily gooped/glued and double toe nailed screwed in before i even screwed all the wheels on) i finally got em on. i carefully turned this bitch over and had her on the ground to show tod. then i got rough with it to 'test' it. almost like i wanted to break it just to see if it would survive. it didn't. it toppled over after an attempt to make it wobble too much...just one too many heavy handed pushes and BAM! a blast to the concrete floor and the top broke clean off the base. just like that. destroyed.

what i love about fucking up my art is, i then have a chance to make it better and do it differently. yes. love. its sadistic. if it didn't pass the test it wasn't good enough. the tests aren't kind and oftentimes not consciously intentional. but when i look back at all the failures i see that if i stuck with whatever it was that was driving me crazy, i always came up with something better. the worst part about screwing up a puzzle piece is the agonizing amount of time that is completely lost. the gallons of glue can be replaced but the time is gone. it isn't usually a peaceful meditative time for me when i'm doing something so repetitive and boring in an unpleasant environment. tough tomatoes isn't it. thats the insane thing. no one has a gun to my head telling me to spend a month gluing puzzle pieces together so why am i doing it? thats an artist for you. i guess.

8 comments:

Cynthia said...

Paula, I wouldn't call this a failure! Of course it's very very frustrating and even painful. But in the large scheme of things, it's just a bump in the road. You WILL come up with something better, and you had to go through that to get there. You are where you are. and you know that phrase "we pray for accidents" because that's what leads to discovery, and ultimately, greatness. IMHO of course. Keep on keeping on!

Cynthia said...

I just looked at the Phoenix Commotion Forum and congrats on your good work there! And it reminded me about the time and materials that were lost when the bone house burned...what a huge loss but you can't keep Dan down!

paula said...

youre right cynthia...i was hoping to have it done for the art thing but ultimately it doesn't matter.
and youre right too about dan...how do you recover from losing an entire structure!!!!!

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

Hugs to you, Paula! I've often lost everything by a simple mistake made...like putting a hole in something right where you don't need it...

It's a bamboozler, but then you just learn to work around it...

XX

donauluft said...

I think there is no time completely lost when you are creating.
Because I am mainly self educated in my craftsmanship and mostly I go in the trial- and- error method, I had so much failures.... I remember days I spent with making one piece of silver jewely, then at least I took to much heat and all was melted....
Btw I had a look at your puzzle pieces... great!

paula said...

yes dawn and donauluft, i'm thinking we could have libraries filled with books of all the failures and lost materials! at least i dont lose my mind anymore and just get back up on that horse and ride it harder.
thanks for checking out my puzzle work :)

CTStudios said...

It's in the baby steps. One has to make those little steps, mistakes and all, before one learns to run. Just get up and carry on ...

andrea said...

That just sounds like good problem solving skills. I would love to be a fly on the wall when you're working. I'd learn so many things!