Saturday, June 23, 2007

Trusting Hands

On the left is the hearth area, whose flat surfaces will now be finished off with earthen tiles to scale. I will roll out air dry clay and score square tiles to the sizes wanted and I'll snap them into tiles when they dry. The middle shows my surprise new kitchen embellishment cemented on last night. The right shows how it looked tonight after I'd grouted it all in and masked off the walls in preparation for finalizing the tree's cementing and painting.

Between yesterday and today I added the last two tubs of FlexAll I had here, I'll need approximately 3 more to coat the roots of the tree and add a little more impasto bark texture.

Last night I was delighted by what my hands did, contrary to my mind. I had always imagined a hewn wooden mantle above Rana's oven/hollow in the tree. But instead I found myself embellishing it and the "grown in" kitchen cabinet with little ceramic tiles in red, ochre, and pink. I had bought a bunch of them, several years ago, to tile the hearth area in front of the oven before my decision to raise the tree higher necessitated my prying the grouted tiles back up. I was able to salvage the amount that I used for this new use. I'm delighted with the result and think it will make the half of the tree that falls inside the cottage much more homey. Now I'm thinking of adding a mantle at the bottom of the opening, like a cooking deck. Very pizza ovenish, love it.

I also added two little carved wooden fish onto the surface of the truck in a feeding formation. No real reason, I'll just dig it as a little rustic touch when the rest is done. The tree incorporates things into itself it seems.

Leaves leaf me stumped.
Oh, the many things I tried today to get the silk leaves to work. I painted, I glued, I layered, did everything with everything I could imagine to make them look more naturalistic. No matter what I did they still screamed, "Hi, I'm PLASTIC and STORE BOUGHT, lallal la la la!"

My current thought is to cement little twigs onto the branches and then glue bare, painted leaves onto them because I can't get the plastic, manufactured veining to jibe with Halfland. At the same time, I can't allow the leaf production to become overly time intensive. It's gotta be, slap slop paint, dry, turn, slap slop other paint, assembly line fashion, real quick.


  1. About the leaves - you might try lighty torching the plastic ones (obviously, don't overdo it!). Just tickle the flame quickly over them. It's amazing what a little flame can do for weathering and suchlike.

    Or if you go with real leaves, make sure to dry them first, or they'll be shrinking as you go. Of course, I suppose actual filming is far enough away that they'll be all done shrinking by then.

    Love the tiles!

  2. Those fish look Cool, I can see a mexican theme foing on with the Tiles, Aloha!...or is that Hawiaan

  3. Hi Mikeee, That's an interesting idea, to torch the plastic. I can see where that would rumple and make the surface less uniform.

    It's too dangerous for me to try tho. Call me a chicken I guess. I don't mind using a torch to fuse glass, or a soldering iron for stained glass. But putting flame to silk leaves (re-gluing the plastic veining to a seperated leaf takes way too much time) hee in my home isn't something I want to risk.

    Toxic fumes, blah blah, you know my drill. wimpy.

    I'm going to for sure use these leaves that I bought. I'll make them work. Dried leaves won't look fresh enough for me. (Especially since I don't know where Ray sent the guys in the desert.)

    Hi Ben, You're right, it is a bit Mexican, but I want to make sure it's also every other rural, peasant culture too mixed in. Gracias! and Aloha!

  4. It was the Gohbi desert the Plants came from I think!

  5. You're joking? The Gobi desert is in Inner Mongolia?! I doubt Mark and Seamus stayed local! LOL.

    oh, and Thanks Mikeeeeeeeee!


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