today’s progress included finishing my little trails of washers, and affixing the nuts.  i hadn’t completed putting on the washers last night.  i believe i got to the end of a batch of putty and decided 2 am was late enough.

gray smushed epoxy snake i’m pressing washers into.

this morning i discovered there are two sides to a washer, and one of them is shiny.  i’m an idiot for learning curves.

so today, everything taking twice as long as you’d expect, i put on all the hex nuts.  ran right out, in fact, and had to go scraping thru our hardware stash to finish the pattern.  making sure nothing could be seen from the front, i outlined all the wavelets in 1/4″ nuts for the first wave, and 3/8″ for the second (or everywhere when i got down to the last few 1/4″ nuts).  that’s 200 nuts, if we’re counting.  my dolphin now weighs about 7 pounds heavier than when i first started with the hardware.

i see an unsightly gap, but mainly i’m done with this.

and i’m not sure how i like it.

it’s awful gaudy, kind of clunky looking.  gratuitous.  way busy.

we’ll see when the paint goes, on, of course.  i’m thinking dark blue under the washers, and white under the nuts, with a turquoise in between.

the next step is to go in with acrylic modeling paste, and fill in under all those bits of metal that are just sort of stuck down.  all the edges have to be gapless, and all the holes have to be filled so water won’t collect, especially inside the nuts.

i’ve got plastolene softening in the pitcher with hot water, so i can spread it out over the very back of the legs, under the tail.  i need to try my idea out before mixing up more epoxy.  i want to see if i can’t use the huge washers to make a little ‘going crazy’ pattern on the dolphin himself.

a reach of assorted washers, kind of like scales, as if he were a merman.

it’s kind of attractive, and every space is filled.  i’m not sure if i want every space to be filled, or even most of them.  maybe i want something barely there.  on the other hand, i got carried away, and that’s what my dolphin would do.

reminds me of the really expensive jeans the kids buy.

and what am i going to do about the tail?  bolts?  bolts in the shape of the home depot logo?  that’s silly.  maybe i’ll just paint it shirt colors and leave it.  i never did put seams around it, which just attests to my ambivalence.  at one point i was thinking of painting the tail as if it were covered with insulation, like a home under construction.  i’m not sure what to do with it.

almost done putting on stuff.

the hardware still doesn’t show from the front of the dolphin.  except for the little curlicue under his tail.  and that’s what i wanted to do.  so i can go on, once i’ve decided what to do with the extra washers.

in the meantime, i took the drill out of the oven this morning, and it was nice and light, and clinked when i tapped the two sides together.  i took them outside one at a time and sanded them with the coarse grit, and after i glue them together i’ll sand them both together with fine grit sandpaper.  there’s some step i’m supposed to take, and jim will help me with it tomorrow.

i’ve been looking with some alarm at the paint tray.  the bumpy part in the middle where you roll off excess paint, it’s very flexible.  and i can’t have anything flexible on this sculpture.  so i’ve got to support it.  and it would take a grapefruit sized ball of epoxy to fill it.  so what i want to do is put plaster in there and build it up that way.

but it’s an awkward shape for plaster poured the usual way.  i’ve seen jim do plaster sculptures without a mold, building it up with almost-hardened plaster.  i’m thinking i can do that, and pack the gap with plaster just like i would with putty.  i’ll get expert advice on it in the morning.

in the meantime it’s almost 4, and i need to get to bed.  i have the baby in the morning, and he won’t listen to how grandma needs her sleep.


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