The plan for today was that we would go to Kilkenny for a Household day and we were really, REALLY looking forward to it. Tuathal and I were especially looking forward to getting some serious archery practice in, I had some perg I wanted to get to Casssandra and maybe doing a little plotting over a peacock scroll and Art was looking forward to spending the day with Gytha’s girls and staying over. I haven’t seen him so excited about a household day ever, so when Tuathal suddenly started to feel bad on Thursday evening I had a bad feeling. A day off school Friday and it became a *horrible* feeling and sure enough today came and the germs had not relinquished control.
Art was gutted. Even going off swimming with a friend didn’t console him overly. So I pulled out some sugarpaste and started him off on a dragon. He went from “awesome!” to “I can’t make that!” in about 5 minutes, or the length of time it took me to find an image of a cute looking fimo dragon on the internet for him to use as reference. I explained that he just needed to break the task down into smaller jobs, and the large complicated shape into smaller simple shapes that operate like layers.
He wasn’t overly convinced, but started by coloring the sugar paste with commercial liquid food colouring. It took *ages* and even at the end it was really a dark grey where he wanted black, but he did the mandatory making the liquid spew out of the little well he formed in the middle. Of course he enjoyed the squelch and gloop of mixing it together, once he got over the concern that his hands would be splotchy forever. There was icing sugar *everywhere* Once the dark one was done he started on a smaller amount of blue which coloured up more to his satisfaction in much less time.
Next came the wire shape. He wasn’t at all convinced about this, as he didn’t get what the horrible looking few back and forth twists of wire with a long standing up bit and a bit of a turn was about. Once he realised it was just for proportion and to help keep everything standing he got stuck in properly.
The most important lesson was one I got in nice and early on. When you start a project it looks absolutely awful. It looks *nothing* like how it will look when it’s finished, yet this is the stage where people often feel they should give up. He stuck rough shapes over his wire out line and was, as expected, utterly disbelieving that he could make it into anything. There was horror when I moved the basic shape onto a wooden plate because I disarranged the way he had laid out the tail, but then soon after there was that change in atttitude and confidence when he could see what a difference adding shaped legs made to the “horrible” looking stump he had up to that point.
He discovered water works like glue and may have overdone it a little bit as the head began to droop a bit. At first some plain sugarpaste was co opted as a crutch, but in the end he went for a small first aid bag to give it more meaningful support while it dries. I was amused. Two small amber beads later and he declared the job was a good ‘un.