still sticky

i’ve run out of putty, but the roads are still too icy to go to hapeville for more, even tho they’re open.  maybe tomorrow.  at least i got the windshield clear.

today i’m researching another art opportunity that i’m very excited about, and filling little cracks and holes with acrylic molding paste, ever so much cheaper than epoxy.

so the title refers to the acrylic paste that’s all over my hands, rather than dried epoxy.  doesn’t mean much to you, but i don’t have to wear gloves for acrylic.

i put the 1.5″ pipes on with the last of the epoxy.  it was funny.  if i’d filled the first part of the holes (4 in all) it would have easily taken twice what i had.  so i had to figure out something to stuff into the pipes.  didn’t much matter what, so long as it gave a solidish base to put the putty on.  as long as i could drive the bolt into it, when it dried it would be fine.

i had the usual difficulty finding the right bolts and nuts, and figuring whether to put the head of the bolt inside or out, and whether to leave the nut at the end to push thru the putty or at the bottom to hold the bolt tight.  because there wasn’t much putty, i didn’t want to put the nut at the top, because then it would leave a huge hole that the bolt wouldn’t touch the edges of, and only the nut end would hold it on.  so i had to take the pipe off and scrape the putty out and redo the hole bolt/nut thing, pack the putty back in, and do it again, this time retracting the bolts, putting the pipe in place, and then slowly pushing the bolt into the putty.

this worked not at all with the first one.  it rocked and wobbled after i got the bolts in, and that won’t do.  so i took the pipe off and widened the hole.  why widen it?  because i was out of putty, and if i want the thing to stick tomorrow, i’ve got to leave room for new putty.  so i widened both holes, and made sure the putty didn’t come to the edge of the pipe.  tomorrow i’ll punch putty into the hole, stuff the bolt in, and hold the damned thing in place until i’ve got putty built up around it to stabilize it.

the other one stuck just fine.  it was going to wobble, but i quickly brought the dolphin upright, and it stayed in place long enough to bond.  it’s there now, smiling at me from across the room.

speaking of scraping putty out, i am happy to report that the unmixed putty i discovered i’d stuck onto the sculpture by mistake, did, once mixed properly, harden wonderfully overnight.  knowingly following directions is a wonderful thing.  going off on a ditz while the fairies mix the chemicals is not.

when i discovered i didn’t want to go on a road trip in the ice, i had to find something else to do, and that’s not a problem, because i have more than i can do anyway.  i did some research into this great opportunity, and then got out the molding paste, figuring i’d go around and cover a few gaps in the putty.

i’ve had the dolphin at a 45-degree angle all day, his nose wedged in between the cabinet and the microwave.  i’ve been sitting on the floor at his feet, fitting bolts over and over again, and looking at the underside of my putty work to see how it looks.

there are wrinkles and folds, places where putty was smushed but left a line and a change of angle, places where the putty doesn’t come out far enough onto the pipe, holes, dings, fingernail marks, pressure ridges, rough spots.  i’m going to have to sand the rough spots, but i’d rather sand down a layer of acrylic than a layer of epoxy, and much rather than fiberglass.

i covered all these things up with a palette knife, and fingers.  and acrylic modeling paste.

my hands were soon covered with a thick layer of acrylic, but i had loads of fun peeling it off because acrylic is stretchy and you can get the whole thing in one piece if you’re careful.  i remember making palm prints of elmer’s glue when i was in school.  i’d sit there with a sheath of drying glue on my left palm, right in the middle of class, blowing surreptitiously.  when it turned clear, i’d put another coat on.  eventually i’d slowly peel it off, trying not to distort it.  and then, having nothing better to do, i’d roll it up into a ball and toss it at some cute guy.

i could go back to work, god knows it’s early enough.  i’m very tired, but i’ve been staying up until 1 or 2 every night for a week or two now.  but i’ve got a painful ear, and jim’s still up, so i might well wind up a less than 12 hour work day.

but there’s always tomorrow.

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