Wow, just turned the calendar to April and wondering what happened to March? My wife really dislikes the expression “f *#*t in a whirlwind” but that’s how I feel the month went! Many things going on between the house, woodwork, and becoming pre-marital counselors for our church. One good frame commission came to me from Devon Kearny who needed 3; 11″ x 14″ frames. She’s a local artist, friend, and instructor at the Scottsdale Artist School. These were about 3″ wide and made from the 1 1 /8″ Basswood I like to use from Peterman Lumber. Finish was satin black over planed wood then rubbed back a bit to replicate age and give that hand crafted look you won’t get from a mass produced frame. Basic process used on all custom frames to create these for her, always enjoy the progression from rough material to finished frame!
Also had things to address around the house. One that didn’t get accomplished in March was to rebuild our berms. We use flood irrigation and need to raise the height of a few berms in the back yard — well, there’s always April for that manual labor! Basically there are some areas that have compacted so the water doesn’t quite go where we want. A couple loads of dirt, wheel barrow, shovel, and tamper should take care of that.
Something that took more time than anticipated was putting a powered exhaust fan in the attic. Our house has been added on to a number of times since it’s original build in 1951. One of the additions is our master bedroom and it’s much warmer during the summer than the rest of the house. After cutting an access hole to get to that area in the garage, I discovered that the original roof had been left under the new addition. This would seem to prevent good air flow in the attic creating a hot spot right above our bedroom. First thing was to go remove as much of the old roof (shingles, tar paper, and sheeting) as possible, space is limited since the roof is a very low pitch. Once done, I was able to make my way to the backside of the house to locate and install a thermostatically controlled, electric exhaust fan through the roof. Here’s a video of it taken from inside the attic! Purchased the fan from JetFansUSA and must admit I was really impressed with the reviews and customer service from Jeff who I contacted several times via email.
Something that’s taken a good chunk of time this this month is my quest to become more proficient at water gilding gold leaf. The process is quite exacting and time consuming. Begins with making rabbit skin glue, then gesso, then bole (clay) before the gilding process can even begin. Then picking up your precious gold leaf with a gilders tip to place correctly on the frame — pictures speak volumes!
Knowing that this is a skill that will take time to become proficient at is okay — although frustrating. In the works is a box made from the wood salvaged from the Chickering & Sons piano. It’s coming along nicely and the client had input on the design of it. That’ll be my next blog!