So back to Watsonville we went. Once we got there we negotiated a shop rental, stayed a few nights in a motel, until eventually we decided to turn the office of the shop into a temporary living space (we weren't in the lap of luxury, but we made do). Once in Watsonville at my 4 x 4 shop table, surrounding by welding equipment and scrap metal I decided it was time to put my nose to the grindstone (what a silly phrase). I had spent too much time on the road and hadn't had the opportunity to work in too long so, needless to say, I was rarin' to go. And go I did. I looked around for a place to show my work, set up a venue, and then cranked out 32 new sculptures in the first two weeks. Most of em' were little, but still, 32 sculptures is a lot of work any way you slice it. I had a show up north in Palo Alto, but the apathetic malaise we were beginning to grow accustom to in California was all too apparent and the turnout was less than spectacular. So the show wasn't great, no matter, back to the drawing board.
I took a couple days off work, went looking for some soccer games, started fraternizing with the locals and frequenting a nearby bar. Occasionally things would seem grim because there was no real potential for any monetary gain while we were out there, but the chance to make newer and better work in a different environment was too good to be true. It didn't take long before my hyperactive tendency to always kick a soccer ball during the time I wasn't working led me to meeting Eibol (pronounced Abel), the musician/woodworker who worked next door, who would come and kick it around with me during his lunch breaks at the mobile Taco stand. Eibol invited me to a pickup soccer game at a local indoor arena and also helped me improve my spanish every chance he could. Throughout the trip Eibol would come by the shop late and night and hang out, have a few drinks and even play some chess.
Over the next month and a half I would play soccer twice a week, eat nothing but mexican food (all there was were Taquerias), learn to love Mango covered in chili as well as rice pudding flavored ice pops, speak spanish to pretty much everyone and continue to make as much sculpture as I could (including a larger-than-life-sized bust of the mechanic who worked next door).
The people from whom I rented the shop were great ironworkers and metal sculptors (www.sculpturetech.com) and they graciously showed me how to operate some awesome machinery. I was equally fortunate to meet Paul and Forest Cheney (www.Cheneymetals.com) local blacksmiths of the highest caliber who relayed to me some awesome techniques, which I've already put to use in a few sculptures.
Watsonville was an amazing experience, highlighted by events such as the time I played Pictionary with Eibol's family and his friend Jaun who spoke english only slightly better than I spoke spanish (Jaun and I were one team, Eibol and his mom another, my dad and Eibol's Texan step-father a third [as it turns out Jaun and I would kick everyones ass]). The last night, in Watsonville was a wonderful culmination of our whole time spent there, when my father and I went out to the local bar and we invited Eibol and his family (and Jaun) to come meet us there. After a little while we convinced Eibol to fetch Jaun's guitar, a notion which was further supported by the bartender and the lone couple who was at the bar with us, and he and his mother and eventually the cooking staff would all join in and put on an incredible concert (including variations of Hotel California, Me Gustas Tu, Stairway to heaven, and a drunk chorus of La Bamba). It was a fitting ending for a an excellent trip in an interesting place.
The end... except more happened after Watsonville and I left a lot out and the trip is still happening. But hey, I'm trying to be concise about all this!
I'll post some pictures.