Whatever and a Day (Part 2)

Once you ran the gauntlet of fools in the front offices at the Atelier, you were in back where all the action and fun was. Each department had its own tone and character depending on the work being done there and people that worked in them.

Mixed in there were the numerous apprentices that were working their way around the various departments. The apprenticeship program was a nice feature at the Atelier at that time. Young artisans from many different countries worked for a modest hourly wage and learned each aspect of the casting process. Plus, like the staff employees, they could also cast their work up for cost. 

In the mold room, I was friendly with a guy named Clay Ervin. Although he didn’t run the department, Clay was (and is) one of the most talented mold makers I’ve ever seen. He was extremely meticulous and thoughtful about his craft. He was always very generous with his time and advice. 

Clay’s personal artwork is very hard to explain. It was a form of extremely abstracted figurative work. It almost always involved a button-down oxford shirt and pants, only in wildly varying forms. Like tubes, or flat squares. They were all sort of self-portraits. Clay’s sense of humor was both profound and very silly at the same time. Quite an achievement.


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