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.
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.
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.