Saturday, 15 January 2011


I've got 'O' level plasticine. We talk about dumbing down education now, but my education included 'O' level sculpture. I call it plasticine because rather than sculpting, for which we had few materials other than plaster of Paris, we used clay, which is only a grown-up version of plasticine. With clay, you can cut out a few bits here, and squeeze in a few bits there. I loved the feel of the clay on my fingers. That work required craftsmanship.

Editing a draft thesis requires crafting too. I am moving bits here, and putting something else there. Cutting and pasting. Adding sentences or paragraphs to improve my argument, and to address my supervisor's detailed comments. Maybe eventually, one day I shall look back with as much pleasure on the experience as I do on my plasticine days.

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