During a day in the workshop I must pick up and put down my tools dozens of times. I change chisels, or stop carving to step back and look at the sculpture work, sometimes because my arms, or back are aching. Usually when I pick my mallet and chisel up again, they are still warm from their previous holding, a comforting body temperature aiding continuity and giving a message they are ready to go. Today, each time I resumed my carving I was shocked by how cold the chisel was in my hand, and it was simply that my down tool time had been too long.
Some days run smooth, and others less so and the birth of a sculpture not necessarily without difficulty and pain. When things don't flow well I find a good brisk walk up and out onto the moors does wonders and I return refreshed. Other times I seek out my book of 'lovely words' - a collection of writing, poetry and words I have found beautiful, inspiring and moving. I remember having read this and being uplifted at the time, but couldn't remember it exactly, so needed to look it up. I don't know who wrote it or where I found it unfortunately - but thankyou to whoever it was - it is a good reminder for me to read, and got me unstuck, with the bonus and very welcome return of warm chisels.
'Proficiency in any art cannot be obtained without study and perseverance. Stonework is certainly no exception, but difficulties will soon vanish if you commence with the confidence that you will succeed'.