The Jewelry Artist Diaries 1: In Which I Dispose of an Art Project
by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved
This is a true story of something that seemed like a good idea when I was 18. But now, a few decades later, I can’t imagine what I was thinking!
Eons ago when I was in college I was majoring in Art, which I really enjoyed.
But I often had to carry my big, awkward art class assignments (various paintings, sculptures, and other projects) around the campus as I went from one class to another.
One semester I had to take a class called Three-Dimensional Design.
And midway through this class, we were assigned a project that involved making three hollow plywood cubes of different sizes, and putting them together in a way that suggested motion.
The biggest cube had to be something like 18 inches, and all the wood had to be well sanded and painted.
Well, I had never done any woodworking, so this project became a nightmare for me.
I somehow got the cubes constructed and attached to a plywood platform.
I don’t remember much about actually making it, but my finished project looked about like this:
It had rough edges and was very rickety, but it mostly fulfilled the basics of the assignment.
I used a permanent marker to write my name on the bottom of its plywood platform, and took it to school with me the next day.
So of course I had to carry it to the building where my Three-Dimensional Design class was held.
This is how I looked carrying it across the campus:
I was very embarrassed about carrying it, and vowed never to be seen in public with it again!
I couldn’t wait to turn it in and be rid of it forever.
By the following week, the professor had graded our wooden cube assignments. (I got a C on mine. I’m sure it was a fair grade.)
And of course he gave our cube sculptures back to us so we could take them home again.
My heart sank. I had somehow forgotten that I’d have to take it back with me after grading!
So a few minutes later I was walking to my next class – crossing the Art Building parking lot and reluctantly carrying my huge, dorky cube sculpture as I threaded my way through all the parked cars.
Just when I decided it was too embarrassing to carry this thing one more step, I noticed that I was walking right next to an ancient red pickup truck with wooden sides.
It had a completely empty truck bed.
Without even stopping to think, I lifted my cube monstrosity up over the tailgate, and set it down in the back of the ancient red pickup truck.
I walked quickly away without looking back. I was finally free from the cube project!
About a week later, I was waiting to cross the street in front of the Art Building after my Graphic Arts class.
I looked up and saw an ancient red pickup truck with wooden sides, driving right past me.
My heart stopped.
It was the same truck where I had deposited my cube project!
Of course, the cube sculpture was no longer in the back of the truck.
But then I saw the driver.
He was my Three-Dimensional Design professor – the one who had assigned the cube project!
Of all the vehicles in the Art Building parking lot, I had unknowingly chosen his truck for disposing of that project.
And even if he hadn’t recognized whose project it was by sight, he had certainly recognized my name written on the bottom of it in permanent marker!
I was horrified.
How could I ever go to that professor’s class again?
For the rest of the semester I dreaded every session of his class, waiting for the axe to fall.
But the professor never said a word to me about finding my cube project in the back of his truck.
His silence about it was almost a worse torture than if he’d confronted me about it.
To this day I wonder what he thought when he discovered my cube sculpture crouched in the truck bed, waiting for him after work.
Did he think it was a statement? a prank? a gift?
And what did he do with it?
Maybe he has a whole collection of students’ hastily discarded Three-Dimensional Design projects in his garage.
I will never know.
But I learned my lesson – I have never, EVER disposed of anything in the back of a truck again.
(Moral of the story: One of the best things about creating jewelry is that it’s a nice, SMALL artform to carry around!) 🙂