i’m almost out of peppermints.  i’m becoming addicted to peppermints.  the ones that melt in your mouth.  i brought some really nice ones back from holland, but they’re long gone.  now i’m reduced to nipping round to the convenience store on the corner for a bag of their 2/$1 soft mints.  but not now.  it’s almost 2 and i’m not walking the streets except to take the dog for his walk.

today i had to spend the morning watching the baby, and then took a nap after lunch, and didn’t actually get down to the studio until 3.  but i’ve been here ever since, so i don’t call 11 hours slacking.  but boy i was knackered this morning.

the first thing i did was to look at my drill.  it’s set, and the epoxy is hard, but it’s still kind of heavy and wet feeling.  i took sandpaper to it, to even up the edges and to smooth down the scrapes.  the sandpaper clogged right up, because the stuff really isn’t cured, or even close.  and i’m not even trying to tackle the obvious sag of the mold, especially not with that crack, which has only been covered over, not repaired as such.   i’ll just let the drill sit for awhile before i do much more with it.  i did put molding paste in the seams, however.  you can see the beginnings of the filling below.

forgive me, it’s my first plaster cast.

then i sat down in front of aristotle dolphin and used the tube o’glue i bought as a prop.  good stuff, liquid nails.  easy to apply, stays where you put it, rubs right off your fingers.  i had started with the molding paste, filling in around the nuts on the base of the dolphin.  and then i realized the glue would hold better than the molding paste, and i had to use it anyway, and it was cheaper to use than acrylic molding paste.  i got it when i was shopping for things that would go on a dolphin if he were going to decorate his own self.  i needed paint, hardware, and either putty or glue.  they had bondo, which is another can, and i didn’t really want two cans on him.

so i settled for a small tube of liquid nails, because it’s one of the products recommended for use on this kind of sculpture.  i’d never used the stuff, and waited until the last minute to use it, because i was so enamored of the epoxy putty.  but it’s got its own uses, this thick glue in a tube.  you can put it into small spaces, or even alongside of or in front of small spaces, and force glue into the cracks.  can’t really do that with putty.

shiny.  i’m getting to like it.

so i outlined my lines of bolts with liquid nails, and then put a little dab of the glue in each center, and then put the tube down and smoothed it all with my finger.  i had to clear my finger of drying glue every little while, just so i could feel what i was doing, if nothing else.   when i was done building up the seal on the bolts, which stick out a lot more than the washers, i went around to all the washers and put glue in underneath them whenever they stuck out.  i got most of them.  some washers only touched in a few places, and gapped the rest of the way, and i looked to fill them first.  then there were really tight spaces, where there wasn’t much room between washers and the electric cord, or inside a very small dip between the washers and the wall.  these were places that would be hard to get to with just fingers and molding paste, as i learned immediately when i did my first row of bolts.  something with a spout is really a benefit in close work.

a syringe would be even better.  i’ve got one of those kid/pet medicine syringes upstairs, maybe i should bring it down here.  my grandson won’t fall for squoze-in medicine anymore.  if i want him to take a dose, i have to bribe him.

reduce, reuse, recycle.

so, it’s cool.  i totally used up all the liquid nails filling and building up the seal around the hardware.  i had originally wondered what i was going to do with the stuff – try to offload it into a jar and maybe seal it with water or oil – squeeze it all out into the trash?  i hated the idea of wasting something.  i’ll give it away on freecycle if i can’t find a use for it myself.  so i was very grateful that the product is so very handy.  and i enjoyed squeezing out every last drop of it onto something really very important.

when it was empty, i crumpled it up and tossed it onto a ledge on the home depot dolphin, and it was perfect.  so i mixed up a small dollop of epoxy and smushed it into the hollow spaces around the electric cord, and squished the tube into place.  but the small amount of putty only barely covered a small area, so i did another wee batch.  and fit it around and underneath the tube of ex glue.  and then did up another same marble sized batch of putty and continued to put it around.

when i was done, with everything but the tip of the cap firmly connected to the dolphin, i noticed that the slope of the wavelet it’s on directs water to pool directly behind the cap, so i’m going to have to built it up, and i’m going to lose even more of the cord.  but that’s okay, because i can paint it in.

so, there’s another bit of putty to go onto the glue.  tomorrow.  and i still have to build struts onto the lengths of 1/4″ tubing on the mckenney’s dolphin.  tomorrow.  and i’ve still got to build out the cap brim on the home depot dolphin, but that’s not going to be tomorrow.  funny how many things it takes tomorrow to get to.

on other fronts, i scraped the back of the paint tray with a small carving tool.  the plaster is still clammy damp a day later, and when i scraped it the plaster came up wet.  i’m not sure, but i’m thinking i see a bulge on it even after scraping it flat, which would mean it’s still liquid and i really should tilt the dolphin for the night.  but surely not, because it’s been a day at room temperature, which here in the studio is 70 degrees.

i made bread today.  it was very much like the way i made plaster today.  and the way i made epoxy putty today.  sculpting is very much like cooking.  the plastic arts.  this is what i want to do with my art.  things you can touch, things you can crumple, things you can stick to other things.

i need to get some sleep.

perhaps when i’m done with this project i can make two lists.

a full list of all the mixed media i used in this sculpture
a full list of all the steps i took to make these two sculptures.



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