500g of air dray clay and some acrylic paint yields pretty results. I’ve gotten a commissioned to do a few more clay cigarettes. It is the healthier option after all. Plus you have a cigarette that will last far longer than a 5 minute nicotine high.
A few months ago, my warrant officer gave me the incredulous task of painting an ostrich egg.
Such a vexatious order arose from his want of a gift to bestow upon his successor that was imminently replacing him as head of my department. An ostrich egg that he dredged up from the barren savannahs of South Africa would serve as the gift. And I, the unfortunate sergeant among a department of forty over fellows (who were homogenous is our attempts to avert his gaze) was fingered to paint the egg. My apparent skills in design work I had previously done for the unit was thought to be a transferrable skill for an egg painting endeavour.
(Sigh: the laughable things I do for the army, far from and beyond my job scope)
So there I was metaphorically sitting on the egg, hoping he would forget about the affair entirely and let me get on with life. That plan however was dashed quite literally when some idiot shattered the bubble-wrapped egg. And we were forced to rapidly abscond with the broken egg before our warrant found out.
And while a Corporal J procured a replacement ostrich egg from Carousell, I thought some kintsukuroi art could instead salvage the broken pieces
With the help of Corporal Z, we pieced the egg back together with masking tape in the hidden confines of a storeroom (cue the Humpty Dumpty song). I then, over a period of a few weekends stretching over a few months, painstakingly superglued the pieces back, covered up and filled in the cracks and openings with papier-mâché, and painted the cracks over with gold acrylic.
This DIY emergency kintsukuroi art turned out amazingly well. And my warrant is without complains. Kintsukuroi does indeed breathe new life into the broken and the forsaken.
I think I should now try out some kintsukuroi art on myself.
Designing things in the army, like a tactical ops map in this case, entails an enormous splitting headache. I had to design the map in parts and send them to different printers for the sake of maintaining the integrity of our dear state secrets. I had also been relegated to creating the tactical icons with my own calloused fingers for having it printed commercially was too much of a security risk to take.
(Yeah, it’s ironic that I’m showing glimpses of it here, but they are strictly *token* glimpses that don’t actually reveal any information that cannot already be found on the public domain.)
It’s been completed and used to great successful effect in the past few unit operations, of course, with thankless assistance from Sergeant Geebril.
It’s amusing that I seem to be doing more design and showmanship than actual ammunition work in my two years here. (But no I’m not. My army life is still excitingly and predominantly a blue collar one.)