Reading about Grant Miller's horrible childhood ordeal by finger painting, I was reminded of a similar incident from my kindergarten days.
We were given old crayons. We were told to pick off any paper that might be left on them. I remember feeling a bit sad that some of these crayons might still be clinging to the hope that there was life left in their nubby little selves.
We were then told to use the blades of our scissors to run down the sides of the crayons to create shavings.
The teacher then described that when we had several colors of shavings, we would arrange them on pieces of paper.
She demonstrated that the paper would be folded in half and she would then help us use a hot iron to go over the sheet. We'd be left with a symmetrical design of sorts we could take home and cherish. Crayonblots.
Everyone seemed game for this but me. I let the teacher know immediately I was having no part of it. I thought it was stupid and I wasn't doing it. She spent some time trying to convince me but when she realized I meant what I said, she sent me to the corner.
The project proceeded. The rest of the kids made some truly amazing blobs of shit. When they were done, the teacher came over and said something like don't you wish you'd done one now? I told her to go fuck herself and that was that.
Flash forward a few years and I became obsessed with making candles. I'd melt down old ones to try and make new ones. My brothers enjoyed teasing me by calling me Parafino, a nickname I secretly loved because of it's Spiderman affiliation.
After ruining a few of my mother's pots including a double boiler she used to make boiled icing and other concoctions in, the folks brought me home my very own fully functional second hand stove which they set up in the basement for my candle making escapades.
I couldn't have been more than 12 years old and they bought me a stove. Wouldn't it have been easier to buy me a pot until the obsession turned to something else?
The candle making fun lasted a while and then I got really good at doing hot knives downstairs with my friends.