a project always takes twice as long as you budget for. this is a simple and essential point in workflow scheduling. when i sculpted and painted the sandy springs town turtles back in i think ’05, it took forever. i remember thinking, if i ever do this again, it’ll go much smoother because i know what i’m doing now.
it’s taken every bit as long this time. not only is there a big learning curve with the materials, but the whole thing takes painfully long.
like sticking the pipes on with epoxy.
it is taking me a full day to apply one pipe to my sculpture. mix putty, let putty rest, apply putty, repeat.
applying the putty is the agonizing part. i can mix putty reading the news on my computer. i can mix more putty while the first putty rests. but when i apply it, it’s a little dab rolled between two fingers, then smushed into a hole, and smushed around, and spread with a finger, and leveled, and smoothed, and then another little dab.
today i learned the folly of mixing up too much putty.
i mixed up two batches of putty. i put on the beginning of the pipe, drilling, fitting a bolt, sticking it into a pipe end filled with putty, anchoring the pipe in critical areas.
i was down to the very last of my third container. i rolled part a and part b into walnut sized balls. there was enough part a for three baseball sized batches. but only enough part b for two. oops.
this would go a long way toward explaining why some of my putty is lighter and some is darker, most is rock hard but is softish still and some hasn’t even set after, what is it, three days now? i’ve been using equivalent volumes of the part a and part b putties, but when i opened the brand new containers, i noticed that the part a container is always filled more than the part b container. so perhaps the directions really mean you should combine equal weights of parts a and b, rather than equal volumes. perhaps they’re meant to be the same density, but maybe this lot was made up a little fluffier than usual, i don’t know.
to solve this problem, i took the extra white ball of part a, and split it into three, and added it to the other three balls. they were all bigger than the part b balls, but i think i’m going to go with this. so i mixed up one thing of it, and mixed up another to go on after, and then my daugther called, and i put them both down and went to spend ten minutes taking a break.
it was all cool, i was putting on the longest pipe, working to anchor it in several places, then going back and filling in, leaving water holes and artful gaps, but making damned sure the parts that were attachments were thick and well applied. no problem getting one batch of putty in place and the other right after that, and wishing i’d mixed up a third. and then my daughter called.
and then i got distracted, but not for more than another 20 minutes, so i might have left the putty alone for 45 minutes. and when i came back to it, it was almost unworkable. i had to use it quickly and crudely as the foundation layer for the 3/4″ pipe that i just got thru installing a few minutes ago. it went on lumpy, and i couldn’t smooth it, not even with orange oil, which is what i’m using since i found that water suddenly didn’t work to smooth it. altho, that was the last container, i’m on my last container now and maybe water will work with this one.
this epoxy must have fairies living in it. fairies are inconsistently logical with reality, capricious. that’s why computers get so funky – they get gremlins, which is a type of fairy. fairies would let you smooth with water one day and demand orange oil the next, and a little dance on the third.
or else the reason it hardened so fast was that i had a significant amount more of part a than part b. and this caused the reaction time to speed up. it happens, i haven’t looked it up to post here, but i’ve read that you can alter the balance for different results.
that’s why i haven’t scraped out the putty that hasn’t set yet. it’s only one place, but it’s pretty thick, and it’s in a crucial place, so i’ll give it until i’ve finished everything else to scrape it out. it might cure slowly. as long as it cures.