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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Artsy Accidents...Not for the weak of stomach....

me & trusty Olfa, still together after all these years....

Inspired by this post by Jan over at DaisyJanie, I'm sharing my artsy accident....

As prefaced in the title, if you're not comfortable with mortal wounds or blood...quit reading now!

While I was a senior in an elective bookmaking class at SCAD, our professor was giving us the basics on beginning bookmaking. When she got to the point about cutting, she gave us two simple rule for cutting paper and bookboard:

1) ALWAYS use a sharp blade.
2) ALWAYS let the blade do the work. DO NOT push down when cutting.

As she's describing this, I'm thinking to myself, "Is she freaking crazy? We're ART students for chrissakes!! We've been cutting stuff up since our first design class as freshmen. I can't believe she's wasting her time with this...."

So, one night late, deadline approaching, I was working on a project due the next day. I was cutting, cutting, cutting away. I was down to the last piece of blade on my handy olfa snap off knife, and in a hurry to finish, guess who was breaking the rules?

I remember the knife sinking into my thumb, apparently when you PUSH DOWN with a DULL BLADE, that increases the force and momentum with which you stab yourself. It was in slow motion. IT WENT DEEP. AND I KNEW IT. It was STUCK in my THUMB.

I pulled my thumb up really quick and started shaking it, because then the little pain receptors started to hit my brain. And since those Olfa knives, even with dull blades, make excellent cuts, blood started going everywhere. I had white curtains next to my desk, covered in blood. It look like a horror movie.Literally, like someone was murdered. AND, I ruined my project. I think at that point, I would've rather just cut the thumb off than lose that project.

Stubborn, poor college student me, had a project due, no time or money to spend the evening in the emergency room getting my thumb sewn up. So a quick trip to the drug store for gauze, butterfly bandages, medical tape, led to me working the rest of the evening with a bum bleeding thumb, trying to finish a project. I think I changed the dressing three times that night, and about 10 more times over the course of the next several days.

Needless to say, I should've had stitches and didn't, so the nerves are completely dead in that part of my thumb. Ahhh...the price we pay for art.....

Oh it's healed quite nice, even though I'm pretty sure I could see bone...ick.

Since then, each time I give a lesson that involves cutting, guess which two rules I use?

p.s. that ring I'm wearing is my favorite piece in the whole world, made by the talented Kathryn Riechert, a fellow SCAD alumni. I don't think I've taken it off in 5 years, ugly thumb and all. :)


daisy janie said...

Glad it wasn't worse!!! The bit about the blood flying everywhere is priceless!!! I once cut the tip of my thumb off while cleaning a slicer at the deli. It was not good - to this day, I cannot go to that part of the grocery store.

Thanks for commenting and sharing!

Barbara Bechtel said...

I was so bummed about the curtains! I had saved a bunch of money to buy these beautiful curtains for the giant 8 foot windows we had in an awesome parlor apartment in Savannah. I remember bleaching the heck out of them and they were never the same......They shrunk and were awful.....