Saturday, June 07, 2014

applied art b4 and afta

I am too embarrassed to show the porch before we touched it, so here is a shot after we removed steps to upstairs and the upper desk.
The bottom pic shows the new deck as it stands now, almost finished. Steps and rails and stain and perhaps a small rain divert over the door. The most masterful work was in trying to get three opinionated guys to work together. Our skills were rough and our experience vague having done other things but not this, we did it. I am happy it is solid and level. This is applied art and if we were little more talented would be a work of art. Fancy caps on the posts, torch holders, spot lamps, cement lions next to the stairs, a outside kitchen, hot tub, who knows how far you can go. So, full of stuff I'll have to go away for a vacation.

I hope the wife doesn't clutter it up with furniture, planters and such. I like the space, especially in the morning. Well let me go cut the grass, I can see it grow pretty good from here.

Friday, June 06, 2014

applied art

As a former electrical draftsman and presently an art dabbler, I usually am putting all my energy into drawings. To draft the product to be built or illustrate an idea so that others can get the drift is the stuff I do routinely. This has changed of late.

The back porch of my home was a kinetic form escalating toward destruction. It was unmaintained, dilapidated and looked untrustworthy. When we tried to knock it apart the porch defied all our efforts. My bud and I had to dismantle it piece by piece. Despite all the caution warnings of concerned friends the structure was not going to collapse and yes the floor was a problem.

Where's the art?

Well I envisioned many decks but had to get practical. More than a picture, I had to dimension it on paper, consult a lumber yard for materials and cost, get permits and recruit a couple of friends to help. So, I got a hand drawn plan, a hand picked team and materials. It was weird commanding friends and orchestrating the materials myself but, It was my deck and that was reality.

Wow, it is really happening. I'm a concept guy not a builder.

My friends said quit analyzing, just do it. I told them what I wanted, we cut the wood for joist, post and hammered the footing hardware in place. In a drawing you could erase a line, change a size, in reality you measure twice, cut once but cut a little large because I and my friends are not pros. As we do it we get confidence. We realized it was not our inexperience but our not having worked together that was  the problem. We didn't really learn to work together until later in the process. The coolest thing was turning an uht-ooh mistake into a positive thing, the scariest was hiding a mistake in plain sight.

We are almost finished now, one of my friends went home, lives in another town. I was crazy to pick friends who didn't know each other. It did however work out and I learned about my friends and me and us together. That was art, the deck is not professional quality but is it supremely functional. I will have to show pictures when done, I promise, after I clean up the yard. I'm cool with it.