Killer Commission
Monday, January 11, 2010

Just before Christmas, Gilbert was given a commission to sculpt a 5-foot cheetah.  He was to provide a concept sketch and give an estimate on the time it would take to complete.  He did the sketch, and told them it would take 3 weeks — after all, he does have a full-time job to work around.  Last Wednesday, the client approved the drawing and gave the word to proceed.  Only one stipulation:  they needed the finished sculpt by Monday!

Time to panic?

Well, Gilbert took his drawing, now enlarged to actual size, over to the hardware store and purchased what he needed to build the armature.  The following 3½ days were a blur.  I helped out by warming bricks of clay in the oven and cutting them up into usable chunks — nearly 45 pounds of clay went into this piece!   Later, I made, sanded and "installed" the claws.  Gilbert did all the really hard work, of course.

Although I don't seem to be able to account for it all, the house deteriorated.  The kitchen is a disaster.  My oven mitts were destroyed, now covered with molten clay.  Laundry needed to be done.  I had wanted to do laundry on Saturday, but I had a women's breakfast to go to that I nearly forgot about (where we handed out the booklets that I made), and there were errands to run.  Gilbert was starting to borrow my socks (!), so I stopped and got him a few extra "emergency" pairs.  I had gone to the grocery store to get a few things, and one of the grocery bags didn't make it home, so I had to go back and replace the missing items.

But, after an exhausting day, on Saturday night there was a cheetah in the garage.  Just mostly needed fur texture and some cleaning-up.  But Gilbert was starting to get sick, and was complaining of bad headache.  Sunday morning, he still wasn't feeling well.  We went to church, and got prayer afterward.  Thankfully, he didn't feel sick the rest of the day, and was able to finish the piece Sunday night — definitely an answer to prayer!

Now, they had told him that they were going to send a crew to pick up the sculpture at 6:00 AM Monday morning, if the client approved the photos.  But strangely, we didn't get any response from the progress photos that we had been sending each day.  Early Monday morning, we got an email that said they were still awaiting client approval.  Finally, this afternoon, we got word that the client signed off on the sculpture.  Another answer to prayer!  They just wanted one thing changed... no spots!  I guess they'll put in the spots with whatever paint or patina they use on the final cast.

This evening Gilbert brought me a nicely wrapped box of truffles from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory as a of saying thank you for all the hard work, support and prayer that went into making this a success.

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