Gone To Pottery.

I take pottery classes, something that’s both a creative release and an occasional source of frustration. Making things is very appealing. On Inside The Actor’s Studio there’s always that question at the end, “What profession, other than this one, would you like to attempt?” Obviously I’d like to be asked that as a professional writer since that’s what I want to do, but sculptor would be my second choice. And since I don’t have the patience to take on the wheel I sculpt things from slabs. One night I couldn’t decide what to make so I tried to make my classmates laugh by saying, “I once went to Africa and shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know.”  And that led me to make a little Groucho Marx figure. He looked lonely so I made Harpo and Chico to go with him.

marxists

Who’s up for a night in Casablanca?

Cute, right? Except part of Harpo’s hair fell off and disappeared during firing. But I was determined not to let it get to me. It would be easy to remake Harpo, right? Easy–if I hadn’t fouled up the dimensions. Clay shrinks approximately 17% from molding to firing and, well, I’ve never been that good at math.

harpo

Actually everything about the first attempt, on the right, is better.

And while I haven’t been asked yet what profession I’d like to attempt my pottery instructor did ask me, “So what do you plan to do with your Marx Brothers?” And I didn’t have an answer. It may seem strange but I just made them because it was a fun idea and the main thing I’ve learned in pottery class is you never know how something is going to turn out until you do it. And it’s become a matter of personal pride that I get Harpo right. Once that’s done I have no plans for them.

I’m open to suggestions.

12 Comments

  1. Ann Koplow

    My suggestion is that you sell your pottery. I’d pay serious coin for that, especially if you turn out an elephant in pajamas.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Selling my pottery is something I never thought of, but since I collect unusual and foreign coins those are exactly the kind of “serious coin” I’d accept in trade.

      Reply
  2. Shawna

    I have a sudden urge to drink warm liquid out of Harpo’s cranium.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I don’t think you’re the first. Unfortunately I put tops on all of them–they’re not really drinking containers, although now you’ve got me thinking I should make a Harpo coffee cup. I hope I’m not going to come up against copyright issues with this.

      Reply
  3. Chuck Baudelaire

    I am squeeing madly right now.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      And I’m bouncing off the ceiling–in a good way. I’m thrilled that you like them.

      Reply
  4. Gina W.

    I LOVE crooked Harpo. He’s perfect! Quit trying to improve on perfection! And you should try doing the wheel at least once in class so you can annoy your classmates by asking them to reenact the scene from “Ghost”. Tell them they can choose if they want to play the role of Demi or Patrick…

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I can’t help it. It’s an obsession. Harpo just needs a little more hair. It’s one of those things I just can’t let go of.
      And I’ve tried the wheel a couple of times–always in the role of Demi. You know what’s completely unrealistic about that scene? That she’s been sitting and working the wheel and doesn’t have clay all over her.
      That and there’s no way she’s making anything with her arms like that.
      Yeah, I’m such a romantic.

      Reply
  5. M. Firpi

    They have a lot of character which is what calls my attention. Definitely like them!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m glad you do. I feel like most of the character work was done for me. The Marx Brothers are so iconic. I’ve tried to do some others–Laurel and Hardy, for instance, but they just haven’t worked as well.

      Reply
  6. Sandra

    I say you should have a giveaway! Or put them on a cute little shelf in an area of your home where there is a lot of traffic…or have a giveaway!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’ve thought a lot about a giveaway. I’ve thought a lot about being like The Bloggess or some other bloggers I’ve seen who offer giveaways or random contests but then I wonder, am I being arrogant? Am I popular enough for something like that?
      I tried something similar with a previous blog. It didn’t end well.

      Reply

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