Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas moldmaking

It's been a hectic month, I tried to fit too much into a small time frame, but I'm glad to report that much of it actually got done! Thanks to my loving hubby, who pitched in and spent days painting and moving furniture.

Bob, our son, graduated from Wyotech on December 19th. It was an intensive nine month program, and he switched his specialty to Light Diesel, but he was third in his class and received an Honorable Mention for Outstanding Student! Before he came back home, I wanted to paint the front bedroom so that once the furniture was moved, it could stay. The front bedroom had last been decorated for Allison... the walls were mustard yellow, the doors were burgandy, and the door frames and closet were midnight blue. It was Passage to India themed, and was charming when it was new, and all of the furniture and accessories matched. However, without the burgandy mosquito netting draped over the bed, or the elephant carvings and candle sconces on the wall, it was really ugly! So, we dragged everything out and painted it a pleasant, light minty green with white trim. Which we could have done in a day... except that I decided to paint the awful popcorn ceiling.

Which was a terrible idea.

Three GALLONS of white paint later, and two days of arm-aching rolling, we finally had a white ceiling instead of a dingy grey one. Then we painted the walls, finally, and it was so damp and humid and cold... and we were in such a rush... that the paint began oozing down the wall because it wasn't drying before we tried to put another coat on. We cranked up the heater, washed out the brushes, and fell into bed. Just in time to pack up the truck next morning and head up to Sacramento for Bob's graduation. The Grapevine (mountain pass) was closed due to snow, and opened up just before we arrived, thank goodness. The graduation ceremony, the next afternoon, was lovely, and I cried of course. So proud! Then, we packed up his apartment, loaded everything in the truck and the car, and headed home. Over the icy pass. With a fully loaded truck. Through an incredible amount of traffic because of accidents and overturns on the freeway. Eleven hours later, we arrived home. (three hours longer than usual)

So, the Christmas tree is finally up, the presents are being wrapped, some are being sent, and things are beginning to settle down.

If you've been watching Lesli's blog, you will have gotten a taste for what moldmaking is like. She is much more patient and organized than I am, and her blog gives the best step by step ever!! Now you can see what goes into the process...it's slow, tedious, and demanding. Just the thing for a holiday week, eh? Well, I like to make molds over the holidays, because in the past when the kids were at school, I didn't have to drive them to school and back over the holiday weeks. It became a habit, to do molds at this time of year. Sort of a ritual, almost. Readying for the New Year. Of course, it really is a bad time to do molds, it's so cold and the mold rubber and plaster like to be room temperature. Oh well! I've ordered mold rubber, because new rubber is always the least bubbly when poured, and Brownie should be arriving from Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig any day. I'm going to take my time and play with some ideas for making better molds, ideas that a few of us have been pondering and working with for a while.

This is Brownie, next to a resin Pixie. This will give you a sense of scale on the two pieces. Pixie is a traditional scale foal, so Brownie is a traditional scale donkey foal. My plan of action is similar to Lesli's tactics with her Imp mold... make a good rubber mold, a couple of good rubber Brownies, and then make the cuts necessary to cast the piece by cutting apart the rubber instead of the resin. I plan to use her bubble-free method of getting the mold rubber into the mold, also, which will make life a lot easier with the fuzzy beastie!

Brownie, like Pixie and Dafydd, will be done as custom glazes and bisques only. The molds will be done (with any luck!) in January, but don't look for any Brownies to be made until the Ottos are all gone.

Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, safe Christmas and holiday season, and a secure and prosperous New Year.



mel said...

Wow. I am impressed with your Santa's Little Workshop bustle! That is a lot to take on at holiday time, but it sounds like it all worked out? Somehow, I can't picture your part of the world as cold...

Joanie said...

Well, Mel, cold is a relative term. :-) It actually touched the 30's here at night.

We finished the room and it is just so light and airy, I'm very happy with it.