Thursday, July 17, 2008

Seashell Epiphany

...As if I needed one.
An epiphany descended on my little sculpting table today like a deus ex machina malfunction dropping a two ton Apollo of solid brass.
The cicadas were rubbing a thousand love songs between their knees and I was struggling to carve a plasticine mold of the first item in the original actor's toolbox; a mask.

I have enlisted every pointy little thing on the island to aid in my sculpting.
The end of my toothbrush.
A corkscrew. ( also invaluable in opening the many bottles of Moschofilero; the crisp white wine from the Mantinia region of the Poloponnese I've been quaffing like Bacchus for a couple of weeks now.)
An X-Acto knife.
A teaspoon.
And a stick I picked up on one of my many trudges along the coast to Hydra town. (Cars and even bicycles are outlawed on this island.)

The Hand of Hephestus

Faced with the face of the enigmatic Mycenaean mask I am trying to recreate for our performance later this month, I find none of my usual tools suitable for the fine line I'm trying to etch in the eyeless mask.

And then it happens.

As if I needed another reminder that I am toiling in an ancient art form like a brontosaurus taking a swan dive in the tar pits- that in this age of virtual reality and CGI effects and the magic of Photoshop, a seashell I had picked up earlier that day just happens to be on my work table, the point of which is perfect to define the soft line of the lower lip.
Here I am, my ipod blaring The Arctic Monkeys into my sunburned ears and the only tool suitable to my purpose is a seashell.

O Hephestus, whom the Romans called Vulcan, God of Craftsmen and Technology and (of course) Volcanoes, I thank you!

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