Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More plastering in Washington, DC

Here are some more pics from Washington. In these, Eric and I are concentrating on plastering the interior lathe wall on the west side, and giving the other plastered walls another coat of clay paint. Eric had been experimenting with the paint, finding it interesting but having a hard time getting it on without joints appearing. Once it's painted on, it seems as though the window to work it in is quite small, and it was tricky to achieve with just one person. Adding another person (me) meant that we could get all the steps done in a timely manner, resulting in a luminous finish of depth and shine. Little bits of mica added another level of shimmer.

For the the lathe wall, Eric mounted screed strips at regular intervals, and then we used them as our guides for the plaster. I put the plaster on as absolutely flat as I could imagine, and then rubbed a leveling board across the plaster, resting it on the screed guides on either side. I found that what I thought was flat, and what was flat, were two very different things. We opened up the surface of the plaster with a wood float afterwards so that it would dry more quickly; adding cellulose to a mix, no matter how little, seems to substantially change the feel of the plaster (smoother, creamier) but also makes it quite a bit slower drying. A finish plaster will go over this layer when it dries, and then I think that cabinets will cover most of it.

As we worked, I could really feel the energetic transition of the studio from a worksite to a being-in space. I can imagine the bench seats, deep enough to snuggle up on and have a nap in the winter sunshine; I can imagine art on the walls and beautiful objects and candles in the niches. It's going to be a place that nurtures and supports creativity, of that I'm sure.

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