today saw me back at home depot.  gee.  a different one.  over in tony buckhead.  it’s a lot bigger than the one in ghetto central, where i live.  i mean midowntown.  and i overheard an associate telling someone in this store that some stores cater more to contractors, and this one was designed for homeowners.  but boy was there a lot more stuff in this one.  i had to hold my hand over my eyes as i stalked the aisles looking for specific things.

like 10-packs of those tiny crown nuts.  sorry, cap nuts.  crown bolts is the manufacturer, not the item.  oops.  such a learning curve.

i had to get a cord and plug for my plaster drill, because i didn’t want to fake it with snaky ropes of putty, and i didn’t want to sacrifice a perfectly good cord from one of my things, and i didn’t want to cast a cord out of plaster.  so i bought one, and will trim it to fit.  i also had to have a home depot finishing brush.  i was going to use one of my own paintbrushes (not without a lot of hand wringing) but i want to use all home depot products on my home depot dolphin.  only seems fair, right?  so i compromised, because they didn’t have any real artist brushes at all, and i had to get these little craft brushes that would certainly do a decent edge.

that’s me and jim, tho.  we’re fine artists who have no trouble bringing our years of experience and training in the fine arts to bear making someone’s kitchen look good.  there we are, with our sable brushes and handmade paint, and there are the other craftsmen in the house, appalled at our tools, or lack thereof.  they’ve got real tools, the right tools, and we show up with art studio tools, which aren’t rugged looking, and weren’t designed to look like space age gizmos, like the drill i just cast.  our tools are spindly, old, makeshift, pulled out of a dumpster.  and we don’t use their methods, either.  they scratch their heads when they see how we do wall treatments.  it’s not the right way.  it’s not how they were taught.  and it’s sure as hell not cost efficient, like the way they work.

the plaster drill’s in the oven, by the way.  when i came down to the studio this morning it was still cold and clammy, and heavier than it should be.  so i’m letting it sit in the oven with the pilot light on.  how’s it doing?  well, since the pilot light blew out apparently the moment i closed the door, it’s been colder than the studio in there all day, and it’s only middling more dry.  maybe i’ll take it upstairs and put it in the working oven.  later.

and the brushes are still drying.  the paintbrush is coming along nicely, building up a good set of drips with repeated dunking.  but i may have to do something else to the spongy roller and sanding pad.  jim’s recommending shellac.  i’m thinking epoxy.  i may have to get another roller sponge and start over, because despite 3 or 4 coats of polyurethane, it’s still spongy.  maybe if i just went ahead and stuck it into housepaint it would harden.  i’ve had to throw away a fair number of rollers for just that reason.

i cut the backs off the gloves this morning,  i know, what a waste, perfectly good, new gloves.  but the backs would have added too much bulk, so i cut them off.  they’re padded inside; i didn’t know that, great idea.  then i soaked the gloves in acrylic varnish and draped them over the bathtub to dry.  they’ll be flexible even dry, so i’ll put them in the pockets and drape them and stick them down tomorrow or the next day.

i still have the back pockets of both dolphins to glue on.  i’ve waited this long because i wasn’t sure if i was going to put anything into the back pockets.  and i don’t think i am, so i’ll use acrylic gel medium to stick the seams on.  when i’m good and sure.

testing my tube of liquid nails tonight, i cut the slimmest hole in the spout and circled glue around the backs of these small lock washers i’m going to put on as shoetie holes.  i’ll see tomorrow whether it’s going to hold, and if not i’ve got putty.  jim advises against using real shoelaces.  i’d need to loop them thru the washers, and the effect can be achieved much better with paint.  so okay.  enough is enough i guess.

i sat in front of my dolphin last night, freaking out about the decoration of the waves.  it’s my idea to put hardware all over it – nuts, bolts, and washers.  but i’m not sure how.  i mean i’m not sure which way to do it.

there are three parts to a wavelet.  the knob, the curl, and the back of the wave.  there’s also the dips between the waves but much of that is taken up by cord.  so that’s four.

i could run a line of a single object – like that box of 100 hex nuts i got – over, say, the ridge of the curl.  or the scoop of the curl; either, and i could put washers only on the backs of the waves, and bolts between the waves.  or i could blend them.  and i kind of want the lines and areas to continue up the legs of the dolphin, like he got carried away decorating himself.  (it wasn’t me.)

i sat there and dithered, trying to picture all the possibilities in my mind, which wrecks me.  and jim came up with the simple answer – slap some plastiline onto the dolphin and use it to experiment with placement and pattern.  duh.

so i softened all the plastolene we have, and smoothed it onto the waves of the back end of the dolphin, and got out my hardware.

first i got out the 1 1/4″ fender washers and put them on the back.  what had attracted me to them in the first place was how they shone.  so i want them prominent.  but these ones are too big.  so i took them off and put them back in the box (after cleaning the clay off them with orange oil on a paper towel) and went and got our stash of assorted hardware.  i think i’m going to get a mess of several sizes of washers, and go from large to small the way i photographed it.  maybe 1″ is too large, and i should get 3/4″ and smaller.  depends on what i find.  this of course means a trip to home depot tomorrow.  i almost went up there this evening, but it was half an hour before they closed and i didn’t want to rush.  even tho these days i’m in and out because i’m on a mission every time i go.  it’s just that i’m still going 4 days a week.  as if i worked there.  which in a way i do.

the line of hex nuts looked great from the start, and the finishing washers look very elegant, so i’ll get more of them.  100 isn’t going to go very far if i want to do every wave.

and that’s my other issue.  how much of this do i want to do?  i don’t think i want to cover every single wave with studs.  i think i want to do maybe one completely, with washers, nuts, and whatever i figure out for the third thing.  not bolts or screws, tho.  they don’t look good marching in circles.  i need the round forms for the wavelets.

so maybe do one wavelet completely with every thing i’ve got.  and then each element goes off in a different direction, and after only a few rows the three lines have nothing to do with each other, but follow their own path around the base and up the legs.  these lines can be in graduated sizes, according to the width of the surface right there, so i can get different sizes of the nuts, too.  it’ll be an incomplete covering of hardware, but i really like that effect, like the way you’ll see a white wall and just a few bricks in one part suggesting the entire texture.

i’m just not sure at this point.  but once i have all (most) of the right pieces of hardware, i can settle down and make art out of it.

and so i end up going to bed a bunch earlier than i have been.  and i’m thankful to be getting to bed before midnight (hahaahahaha i wrote that before and then went off and did something else, and now it’s tomorrow).  usually i’m asleep before 9, and these weeks have been very challenging.

i’m not near the end, but it’s in sight, and there’s not much more left to do with the dolphins before it’s time to paint them.  yay.


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