A FEW WORDS FOR THE Discworld Chronicle: Bernard Pearson

As those who were at the recent Clarecraft Event or who have perused the dedicated corner of L-Space will know, I have been occupying my old age with sculpting the Unseen University.

It is sometimes said that those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad: well, that could easily be the case. I feel however that those whom the gods wish to destroy they give a good idea to.

Gosh, I thought: what a good idea to really make the UU real, to bring it to life, as it were.

 Now, one of the great pleasures of my life - one that ranks alongside eating big dinners and quaffing - is to make the words that wriggle out of TP's books and land splashing images on the inside of your skull real, or as real as you can get them. All right; just some of the words that join together in a blissful harmony of destructive prose, a bit of the picture that you can hold in your hand as well as your mind. Books are for reading, I know: but sometimes the clever bugger creates such a powerful image that I can almost feel it wants to come to life through my hands. If that sounds spooky or somewhat presumptuous, well all right, maybe it is; but each to his own. It's a harmless pursuit.

Anyway, there I was contemplating the idea of probably the most involved piece of architectural sculpture I have hacked to date, and then I talked to the man himself. Joy of joys, he said yes! Whoopee! (etc, etc.)

Isobel did her usual trawl of the books to lift out the descriptive prose, CMOT Briggs was threatened with the VAT until he divulged other arcane details, and Tom and I embarked on it. First the easy bit - ha bloody ha! - the Tower of Art. Hundreds of bricks later, and some very serious mouldmaking, and there it is: bloody huge. (Please Note: the fruit of loin Tom whose job it was to mark out the scale of the UU buildings and other pithy details was somewhat vague as to the height the finished tower should be.) I stopped at 20 inches: in fact, it should have been about 8 feet. All well and good so far. Erm, well...

For the last week of my life I have been sculpting the front facade, clock tower, and abutments to Sator Square. Bloody hell - talk about eye platting! Think on the description in the Companion of the guided tour, of what the statue of Archchancellor Bewdley is doing with his hands. Small though it is, it has to be there, so I have resorted to jewellers wax for those and other details; and if you look very carefully, just where you are told to in the Companion, there he is, and there are his two little fingers. That, my dear friends, is what I mean about bringing bits of Discworld to life: making it if not real, then as real as my skills will allow. My hope is that what I can achieve as a cunning artificer in some way comes near to the genius of Terry's books. I know I will never be able to get it entirely 'right' but, by Jingo, I will try.

We all read the books, we all rejoice in the world he created, and by sharing my skills amongst friends and fellow fans it allows me not only the opportunity to indulge my skills as a craftsman, but to reach an audience who will look and really see where I am coming from and what I was trying to achieve... to bring just a little bit of Discworld from our mind's eye into our everyday life.

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May 1998