this part of the project is going so quickly it’s almost sickening. i mean, i’ve labored and sweated, and got one or two things done per day for many many weeks. and here i am just leaping ahead with this part. the cord magically draped itself to the form of the waves, and it was the work of a few minutes per inch to stick it down with putty and make it stay. i’m not going to worry about water flow until later, because i’ve already noticed several places where the cord forms water dams. i want to get it all on as fast as possible. ( i will deal with it.)
but not too fast. every inch of putty needs smoothing with orange oil. because if i don’t do it when i first put it on, it’s going to need sanding, and i’m not wasting a week sanding two dolphins, i’m sorry. only half a week, more like.
this is the left half, the part that i mostly put on yesterday.
this is the right side of the dolphin, as you’re looking at him. i put half the cord on yesterday, and figured out the rest of it today. six to ten inches of 1/4″ snaked putty, spread around the sides of the cord that’s been pressed deeply into the flattened snake.
yes, those are gloves. nasty, sticky, gummy gloves so my hands don’t get like that.
then i decided to put on the paint can and the paint tray. like i hadn’t already put on 12 feet of cord today. i drilled two holes, you can see one hole above. then i had to build a flat place for them to lie on and stick to, so i got out the putty. and more putty. leveling requires a lot of putty. so i’m almost out of putty and will be going out first thing tomorrow. and to home depot again, too.
the can has a thin ring of putty coming up over the side, looking as much as i could manage like the rim of a can. i’m experimenting with the lid – the inside of the can has some sort of nonstick-looking coating, and that means i’m going to have a hard time making the paint stick when i go to cover it. so that means either stick paper to it with adhesive, or rough it up with sandpaper until it will take paint, or some other solution. so the lid gets all these experimental treatments to see how they’ll work. always test first. i’ve got putty on both sides, to see where i’m going to have problems.
i had to use many lots of clay to make the platform under the paint tray. the tray is biodegradable, and quite light. i’m going to have to get several more just like it and glue them together for strength.
i had to keep putting the tray on and taking it back off again, trying to figure out if i had enough putty underneath it. basically i had to push it all up in the center and then lay the tray on and squish everything out toward the sides, then wrench it off and add more clay and start again. finally i got putty coming out of the sides while i was pressing down on the middle, and had everything built up to touch the bottom. it was very rough until i smoothed it with orange oil. and the two legs of the tray, the parts to either side of the washboard thing on the right, they’re really thin, and so the piers underneath them are also very thin. and the washboard itself is as flimsy as it can be (it’s supposed to be). it won’t be a whole lot better when i put three of them together, and i’m going to have to reinforce it with thicker piers and more clay inside, probably some sort of column or wall down the middle. and then the whole stability will change when i put the roller in there and secure it to the tray.
next i’ve got a razor blade cutter to put on, a church key, the can top, the yardstick. and before i can do any sticking on, i have to harden the brush, the gloves, the sanding pad, and the paint roller.
and i have to figure out how to deal with the liquid nails. turns out i bought the wrong kind to actually glue anything to a fiberglass structure. so i have two options. no, three.
i can try to save the glue, by squeezing it into a small jar and maybe cover it with water or oil to keep it from setting. or i can just waste the glue into the trash, which of course is a waste. but i want to glue on a used and crumpled tube onto my dolphin. my problem is how to make the glue solidify in the tube. would simply leaving the cap off do it? or should i poke holes all along the tube so air can get in? or need i split the tube down the length with a razor blade and let it cure fully exposed to air? but it might level out, and i need it to be crumpled-tube shaped. maybe some research is in order, but here’s my real problem. i can look all i want, but i’m not going to get useful results googling for ‘how to make liquid nails harden in the tube.’ i’ll get lots of complaints that it did harden in the tube, and lots of advice on how not to let it harden in the tube, but nothing directly addressing how to do it on purpose. if i were to ask a contractor, he would tilt his head and respond, ‘don’t.’
but such is the life of an artist.
actually, leaving the cap off is supposed to do it.
i’ve been talking with jim about how to do the fill on the can and tray. i’ll use plaster; pour it right into the containers after i’ve bolted and plugged them, and let the plaster set and cure for a few days. then i can either mix up some more plaster and make the drips you see in the lovely piece of art above (not mine), or i can take actual paint and make those drips. anyone can make drips using paint and a brush, but they’re really hard to make out of putty; it’s better to drip them than roll them and smooth them. it’ll be fun.
i thought of something interesting to do with the liquid nails. while it won’t be good for gluing things on to my dolphin (mea culpa), i can make designs on the dolphin with it.
see, this dolphin is a little adhd.
he’s always doing too many things at once, and sometimes he looses track, or interest, or just gets distracted. so i’m going to have him be decorating the waves with washers, bolts and screws. but i can confine the hardware to certain parts, and continue the design with liquid nails, as if they were the guidelines and i’d walked off and let them harden before pressing hardware into it.
this is so much fun. how much fun it is being an artist. it really is the ideal career – all my time to create, and as little to do with money as possible.
i’m considering mixing up more putty and putting more stuff down…
maybe not. it’s 1 am.