Monday, March 26, 2007

In Between Fires

After receiving the call from Georgie's, the everything ceramic store, that my trim tiles were done being bisque fired, I picked them up as soon as I could. I spent most of the afternoon Saturday cutting the challenging miters, as well as recutting the simple straight pieces as the shrink rate was less than expected.
On Sunday, I sanded and cleaned the trim pieces, then I applied the glaze - LOTS of glaze (about 4 coats). Today (Monday), I'll bring them back to Georgies to get glaze fired.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Vacuum For Sale

Actually, I take that back. I still have carpet upstairs, but as of last night, there's no more carpet on the first floor. Last night's carpet rippage in the family room was much more successful than the office from the night before, in that the doug fir floors are all intact and in good shape. I'm all the more excited for these new floors. After hanging out in the room, I realized that the soft doug fir floors give a much warmer feel than I was expecting.

Here's Scully, enjoy the last few moments of the carpet.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Carpet Tearout in Office

Last night was the unveiling of my Doug Fir floors in the office (also know as a third bedroom). I was fairly excited, not just because it was another step in the direction of a finished dining room, but also to see the wood floors, that were sure to be in great shape and ready to be easily restored.

Here is a before picture. I should have vaccuumed but what's the point?

And the after picture. In the background are some hideous wide boards that will need to be removed and replaced with new fir floors. The reason they're different is because that part of the house was added on later from the original house.

Below the carpet and padding was this colorful linoleum. Kinda cool, but isn't staying.
Here's a more detailed picture of the "newer" part of the house, with the wide boards that will need to be replaced.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bloomin' Clematis

The first picture is from inside my fence. The clematis is actually planted on the OTHER side of the fence, but since this side gets the afternoon sun, this is what happens.

I still don't know what variety it is, despite the fact that I see it all over Portland.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tin Ceiling Ordered

I finally got on the ball and ordered the tin ceiling. I went through a couple of different companies to get the best price. I was planning on going with a pattern that I've seen more commonly, but at the last minute I came across a couple that were pretty interesting, finally deciding on this:

I'll have a "filler" around the edges which has a hammered look to it. Then this moulding to cover the perimeter edge:
I've been told that I should see the panels by the end of next week, so we'll see.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Plying the Ceiling With Wood

This is so I can attach the tin ceiling in the weeks to come. It was quite a task hoisting the 4x4 pieces of half inch plywood over my head on a wobbly ladder, but that pneumatic nail gun was a life saver. I was quite surprised by how fast it went.

Here's some before and after shots:

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hiya Spring, Nice To See Ya Again

I particularly like this time of year not just because it gets warmer (duh) but also because it reminds me of when I got the keys to my house 12 years ago (March 8th, 1995 to be exact). In fact, I distinctly remember moving stuff with great excitement in the back of the house where the 2nd picture of daffodils was taken, and those same daffodils were blooming at the time.

This shot is of the daffodils in the front of the house. I'm digging the slightly out of focus house siding in the background.
Interestingly, I'm not sure Scully is liking the warmer weather. At the park, where she fetches the racquetball after I bash it into space with my stick, she tends to get too hot too quick. But that's kind of why I built the waterfall.

Here's a shot of the first clematis bloom of the year.

I think there'll be plenty more from the looks of those buds.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

So Far, So Good

This past week I have been redoing the trim for the oak tree tile mural after the initial attempt ended up in catastrophic warpage. The things I did different were: using fresh clay rather than recycled and letting the clay dry in the jig a bit before attempting to move it. I also pre-cut the trim to 8" while it was still a bit damp rather than fire it, then cut. So far, the side trim that was redone is looking like a winner.

The darker gray trim on the right was formed just last night and is darker because it still contains moisture. The lighter gray on the left was more several days ago and is pretty well thoroughly dry.

For the cap of the trim, I decided to reuse the already formed clay since that didn't warp as bad. I'll make a decision whether it will be useful after I do the bisque fire.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


After coming back from a week and a half vacation in Ireland, I discovered that the oak tree tile trim was completely dry and ready to be bisqued fired. Unfortunately, it had warped pretty badly.

This picture just shows a small portion of the several feet of trim I tooled out but after checking it all out tonight, I realized that most, if not all of the clay work I've done is unusable.

There are few reasons for this warping. The biggest cause is that when I was done forming, to move the clay out of the jig, I had to lift on each end of the 20" section. Since it was still wet, it obviously bends. Though it's laid out flat to dry, apparently the clay has good "memory" and tries to go back to that shape it took when it was removed from the jig.

I also think a small part of it has to do with using recycled clay. From the many dry scraps of clay in making the oak tree mural, I added some to a tub along with water and a lot of mixing. The problem was that I don't think the moisture was evenly distributed, leaving drier clumps in the wet clay. This may be why the trim appears bumpy.

Regardless, I have to start all over. I have a new plan in place and tomorrow it's off to buy fresh clay.