i’m a little gluepot, short and stout

before you operate, you have to mark the spot, so you don’t make a mistake.  i’m reminded of all those horror stories about the wrong arm removed, etc.  not that it did much good, but i marked the spot where the hat should go.  the goopy spray insulation stuff slips and slides something awful, so the mark is merely a guideline.

i’ve got to hand it to the guy at the hardware store where i bought this stuff.  he was right.  he said he would just spray it in with the hat laying on its back, and then let it cure, and then cut it with a mat knife and shape it, even sand it, and then stick it onto the fiberglass sculpture with epoxy.  and why didn’t i listen to him?  what made me think i’d be better off doing it without expert guidance?

because his eyes glazed over when i told him i was going to glue a hardhat onto a dolphin’s head.  couldn’t get past it.  why would you do that, was all he could think.  certainly not how, like i was asking.  so, i felt abandoned to doing it myself, which is where i always end up, and fine, because i like to learn myself.

so i shook the stuff like the directions say, and i sprayed it slowly like the directions say.  it comes out just like spray whipped cream out of a can, except it’s not as fluffy.  begins to sag under its own weight, too.

and then when it was full, i inverted it onto the dolphin’s head and started pressing it down.

this might not work anyway.  even tho i have it taped down, what is the power of stickum when it’s got all night to press against its bonds one molecule at a time, one little gas bubble after another?  i might come downstairs in the morning to find it resting four inches above the dolphin’s head.

you can see how spaghettilike the spray insulation foam (urethane foam) gets when it starts to run out of propellant.  i didn’t dare stop to shake it again in case the plastic tube froze up with unmoving spray foam.  i just kept pressing on it until i was clutching it against my chest pulling on the damned lever.  and it just dribbled out, popping softly.

it immediately began glooping out below the cap, gumming up the plastic hardhat and sticking to the fiberglass head.  i kept wiping it up with acetone on a paper towel, which miraculously vaporizes the foam, but the damned stuff comes right back.  you should see it now.

the white fabric is the collar.  (looks like gang gear, tho, doesn’t it?)  i went out and bought some interlock (circular, no seam, funny that, for t-shirts for people of a certain size, and everyone else has to have seams?) . i’ve cut it and folded, and ran a 1/4″ seam around the outer edge, then folded it to be the same size as the two collar pieces of the original shirt that are already glued on.  now i’m gluing it down with gel medium, and what you’re seeing here is the second layer (there are four) of the folded fabric, gluing it to itself.  and then i’ll do the same again with the top layers.  can’t use too much glue.

finally had to use tape to hold it down, and i can see perhaps as i’m writing this (half an hour later) that i might have to jam it down one more time and retape it.

anyway, if it doesn’t work, at least i’ll still have a hardhat protected against baseball bats by all that insulation foam, and i can stick it down using epoxy .

what’s left?  i’ve gotten almost all the way thru dressing my dolphin, and it’s going to be time to take the pieces of my model (graciously provided by the folks at lss at the aquarium) off to home depot where i will buy lots of pvc and things.

a couple of hours later, and i’ve been watching the bits of foam leaking out from under the hat.  the hat sn’t coming up, and that’s cool, but the guts continue to leak out slowly.  the bottom part, where it comes out of the hat, is all hard and spongy, but the farther up you go, the wetter and fresher it gets.  i’ve already torn off all the piles that have grown up over the side of the hardhat, and now i’m going to do it again before shutting down for the night.

oh yeah, i’ve put the first, well, the second version of the aquarium draawing on the tailfin.  i’m trying to use the curves of the fin to stand in for the natural curves on the aquarium’s profile, looking like a ship looming above a dock like it does. 

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