Here is the portal before we added the wire mesh which will hold the plaster. I have been working on this for the last three weeks with a professional, plasterer and plastering instructor, Ryan Chivers, who uses centuries-old techniques. He used to live in Nederland and now lives in Boulder. He has been a delight to work with and learn from.
Here is a part of the wall as of yesterday. At this point we have put two and in some cases three coats of plaster on the mesh. Mostly I mix the batches and do the masking tape duties. We have to place and peel the tape around the animal edges each time we plaster. You will notice that many of the photos I post here are in sepia: I am a sucker for the old-fashioned look.
Amy Bayless, another former Ned-head, has been working with Ryan and me to plan the final “painting”. I put that word in quotes, because Thursday we are putting on a fresco finish that uses colored pigments which absorb directly into the final coat of lime and filtered fine particles of crushed marble. This technique is hardly ever used today but was the way murals and some paintings were done many centuries ago in Europe. Amy and Ryan will be creating a cloudy, misty finish which with the materials, finish, and art technique, will make the final look surreal. I will be right behind them going “ooh” and “ahhh”.
We should be finished for Valentine’s Day this Friday although next week I will spend the week touching up the animals’ paint and the steps that go into Somewhere Else.