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November 29, 2010 – 11:01 pm

We all make mistakes, don’t we?

- Posted in Art & Sculpture, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Shaking a paint tin with a loose lid ?

I haven’t met a person yet who hasn’t made a mistake, whether in business, or on a personal level.
Some mistakes are ones that were extremely embarrassing, and you wished the ground had swallowed you up. Others involved following a hunch, convinced that you were right but for one reason or another, it didn’t work out.
You try, you fail, but ultimately you learn, and put it down to experience. Apparently, if you don’t learn, you are on the path to stupidity, insanity or politics, or maybe all three.
However, wiser men than me don’t appear to escape the odd mistake. Some of the world’s greatest minds, such as Oscar Wilde (“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”) and James Joyce (“Mistakes are the portals of discovery”), have obviously had their fair share.

A polystyrene profile with the wrong hand down :-(

So, you may ask, why would a business blog about their mistakes? Well, the professional answer to this question would be that we are doing this to show our readers that we are a growing, developing business, which is learning to adapt to new situations on a daily basis. In actual fact, we just have two funny stories to tell.
The first occurred when one of the team emerged from the workshop dripping in green paint. He’d failed to notice that the lid wasn’t on the tin properly, gave it a shake, and well, you can see the consequences in the top image. But until you make the mistake, it is difficult to learn: my past ‘experience’ with a mayonnaise jar ensures that a thumb is on the lid before shaking any bottle, jar or tin.

My recent ‘mistake’ was on a slightly larger scale. We were asked to create a giant silhouette for Universal Graphics and sculptor Marc Kelly. We had to make 2 cuts into block of foam that was 8′ high x 4′ deep x 4′ wide. The first cut was a side profile, and then we had to rotate the polystyrene block through 90° to cut the front profile. Yes, you guess it, I had a 50% chance of rotating it in the right direction, but it ended up being 100% wrong.

Thomas A. Edison, the inventor of the electric light bulb, once wrote, “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.” Then, should we consider ourselves lucky that we have made so few mistakes to date? Or is this an omen to what could be in the future? *ponders*

So, here are some of our mistakes which we’ve learned from. To further our education, why not share some of your “experiences” (mistakes!) below? The most enlightening comment will win their name in foam, error-free!

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3 Comments

  1. Claire Boyles

    Posted December 2, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    It’s funny, the thing about mistakes is, usually you only have to make them once- particular when it comes to green tins of paint :)

    LOVE your Mr Tayto, and well I never, I didn’t realise he raised only a specific hand, does this mean he’s a left handed potato head?

    Great post Fran, thoughtful & amusing :)

  2. Fran

    Posted December 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Claire,
    Thanks for your comments.
    I agree, you tend to only have 1 ‘green paint’ experience in my case it was mayonnaise.

    Marc did a brilliant job sculpting Mr. Tayto from our rough shape. The pose was set by the client so I’m not sure if Mr. Tayto always holds up his right hand.
    I’m sure he’s ambidextrous, most potato heads are ;-)

  3. aafke

    Posted August 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s not because of the colour green, fran, but i actually like the pic with the green spray paint.