Monday, March 19, 2012

I’m stuck in a sticky web of my own creation

In an attempt to make myself a little more crazy, I began the shellacking process on Sunday. As I mentioned in a not so past post, I have been drawn into the highly textural surfaces that Jim Gottuso creates on his pots. I wanted to “practice” on a few pots before I subject all of the mugs I have been working on to this process. So I took some bowls that have been kicking around and have yet to make it to bisque and began shellacking. I started the process at around 9:30 am on Sunday, and managed to get 3 bowls all finished by 3:30. 2 of them just had very random patterns that were more of a “how much can I scrub” test, and “how much detail can I get” test. The one I spent the most time on was what I was going to call my paisley pot, but after it was all said and done, it might be more of an embryo pot. I freehanded in pencil the initial paisley nuclei all over the pot and then filled them in with shellac. I was not sure how long it would take the shellac to dry/harden, and was quite surprised to find that it went from tacky to try in no time flat, but did put it in front of a fan just to be extra sure it was hard. I did find that if the shellac was not quite thick enough, it would erode with the scrubbing, so I tried to keep the scrubbing to the absolute minimum. I then repeated this process and outlined each paisley just a little bit more and then again eroded the un shellacked surface to reveal another step down. Repeated ad nauseum until it had a bit of a malachite look to it, except the central nucleus is a paisley, or in some of them, slightly embryonic…I ended up doing about 6 layers of shellac.
Previous to the shellac, I got to excited to wait to get the flakes and did a few mugs, but used the wax resist instead. It worked pretty well, but you need to use really, really, really cold water to help keep the wax from getting soft and wiping away too easily, so my hands would get really, really, really cold I could have used heavy rubber gloves, but that would have been too easy and would have required a little bit of forethought and planning.
In my impatience to get the shellacking started (I like the word shellacking), and then of course the interruption of my afternoon on Saturday by an Irish Leprechaun that required my ingesting 3 pints of Guinness, I did not get to the hardware store as planned to buy the requisite parts to fix my shower. This is however coming to a head pretty quickly. I was standing in scalding hot water and showering in relative tepid water with intermittent bursts of cold water this morning.

FFWD a couple hours...I went to Lowes and picked up what the dude said should work to replace the diverter (first mistake)
This is what he sold me

Maybe I should say that it was the second mistake. The dork that tiled the bathroom a few years ago managed to block the diverter in its hole with grout. I was able to chip it out but I had visions of having to rip out all the tile
Anyway, after I calmed down and got it out, this is what I found:

As you can see, the diverter stem is much longer than the new one. However I discovered what the real issue was anyway and luck would have it that in past plumbing adventures, I had a few spare o rings that thankfully fit the business end.

The broken o ring was actually stuffed in between the stem and the outer casing.

Looking forward to a 1st world shower tomorrow.

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