Thursday, December 18, 2014

always working 33 x 33 inches

I was beginning to wonder if I would EVER finish this,  After I started, I took two weeks off to work in Muncy High, then took over three weeks off to work on my floor.  This mosaic was a bugger.  The shape of the frame seemed to throw me too.  I can't remember if the gear idea or the crow and moon idea came first,  Then, I have NO idea how they got mashed up together.  But as I went along, the mosaic became about my life at that time. It usually does.
One of my favorite parts is these resistors.  I had to make this tile twice as I did for almost EVERY feature in this mosaic.  I trashed a moon, light bulb, and crow too. Yeah... resistance, all right!
Of course, that raven (or crow?) is me... awake in the middle of the night, trying to figure out whatever I am working on.  In this case, it was trying to figure out what to combine to get different metal colors, the glass key, what colors of dichroic would make the right electric streak?.
Even though the mosaic started out steampunk, it kind of veered toward working things out.  Still semi-steampunk, the key and light bulb were also, YES, symbolic.  I need a fire lit under my ass sometimes too, especially when I struggle this much.  I have a whole set of beetles that I made for this mosaic and didn't use.
Way before I started this mosaic, I bought watch parts (below) to put on my frame. They came from punksrus on etsy.

SO happy now that it's done.  It has a big thumbs up from my fam, which makes me smile.  "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.”  said Lennon or Coelho.  I say-Even when it doesn't always look like it, things are always working.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

worth the wait

I'll admit.  Sometimes I DO become impatient.  The things I dream are a little outlandish so it takes a while for the Universe to whip this stuff up.   Here's how this floor transpired.  A couple of years ago, I saw this really cool floor in a gallery.  The owners told me they did it themselves with wood from Home Depot!  At the time, we didn't have the money even for that.  As time passed, my ideas changed.  I thought of stenciling the wood to make it look like re-purposed shipping crates, possibly a paint treatment to look like worn off paint, maybe beating the wood up a bit and adding a few screws and stuff to make it interesting.  So imagine me finding all this wood already as I was dreaming about.  I didn't have to fake anything.  Oh, and it was FREE!  Now before you get excited, below are photos of what free wood looks like.  Not too many people will have the patience to transition the below photos into the above photos.  We used engineered wood but the engineering was done by flim and flam (yeah, me and Rob.)  Some of the wood was an inch thick, some was a half inch thick  and sometimes that was in the same board!  And only the wood is free.  You will spend hundreds just on poly and again on underlayment... hardware... yada yada yada.
I have been called bat shit crazy before... this could be the evidence to support that.  Yes, the photo on the left is all guano.  Much of the wood used had all kinds of critter crap on it.  Yeah, power washing in November will freeze your nuts off.  I do think some of my neighbors thought we were insane when we said this pile of wood will be our floor.
You can see why small swatches became part of the design.  We worked with what we had. This was one of three piles of wood that were in our houseThey dwindled for weeks till we got done.  We found a lot of square nails.  They were super rusty so it is hard to tell but we think they were machine made, dating them to between 1800 and early 1900's.  We left them where they were in the boards that were used. In places that the wood was too deteriorated to save, we ripped and cut off sometimes four sides of a board, but saved the nails that were in the wasted parts.  Those nails were then added randomly to another board.
We started with a "rainbow" stripe in the middle and then added two more where we knew there would be no furniture covering them. That was to make best use of the few colored boards we had. The dumbbell was to hold a piece of wood together till the wood glue dried. The only sanding was to really pickery wood and then after the poly so it feels wonderful. Not kidding.  See my pretty girl keeping us company?  In this photo, she is about a month past 16 years young.
Above left, you can see one board where the square nails just fell out of the holes, and in the right photo one board had two of the nails get bent and someone just pounded them in. The three in a row were one of the places that we added the nails back in.  Pounding them took the rust off and rounded them a bit.  Hammer dents were mostly us.  If you add my woodworking skills together with Rob's, the sum of that is zilch.  Couple that with the fact that all we used was a bitty circular saw and a small belt sander... a few rotary tools for vent holes and inner corners...YEAH, this was an undertaking.  But now it's done and we LOVE it.
There were holes and voids in the wood but rather than cut them off, we incorporated them into the design, knowing we would fill them later.  This one got my Grandma's junk jewelry and glitter strings in epoxy.
These holes got a nickel, a bottle cap, and buttons with glitter string in the resin.  Another hole got a glass signature tile but my Christmas tree is sitting on it so I can't show you.  I wonder about what the holes may have been for.
We put the lock back into the hole it fell out of and used it somewhere that it would not trip anybody.  This is one of our favorite parts. 
You know I am not above stealing somebody's artwork and dubstepping it into my own.  The top photo is part of a tiny stenciled board we found.  Notice the wormhole wood perpendicular to it.  The bottom looked like a kid had a pen and some spray-paint on ply.  We ran out of wood in the hall and had to mix purchased wood in.  Of course I stained some purchased wood blue.  
This Boeing box was a major score in our book. There were two Chinooks pictured on the box and they were both used.  LOVE that.  I mean, who doesn't think a Chinook is cool??  Right.  That's what I'm sayin'.  The bottom of the box was our working table throughout the project. As we neared the end, parts of it were lobbed off to use in the floor.  The rest will become part of a storage table for in my shop. We also used a piece of ply that has a stencil of Century Lighting from NY, NY.  I couldn't find any info on them when I googled.
We took up tired nasty carpet and laid down tired nasty wood.  Just add four coats of high -traffic poly and there you go.  We kept irregular edges and then filled some of the voids between boards with black glass and black silicone so nobody would fall in.  Bonz is showing you where the coffee table goes.  And below is the hall.  Then the true test of art-  Does it match my sofa???   Ah ha ha ha ha!  My sofa and my walls are green even though you cannot tell from these photos.  Matching is boring. I know this is not everyone's taste... but I love this life.
PS... This is a terrible photo of fabulous Paula Lewis work on the back wall of my hall.  In December, my tree eclipses the spot where her work usually hangs.  Make your house YOUR house.  Fill it with what you love.  Now back to my shop where I belong.