Thursday, September 09, 2010

Flesh: Lost and Roasted

So after agonizing all summer over how to finish the facade of my wood fired oven, I finally made a decision...
that led to more agony:
two fisted mosaic carnage
If it weren't for being packed with grout, those ouchies and BIG CHUNKS OF MISSING FLESH would have been a bloody mess. Ouch was the understatement of my entire last week, actually.

Here's the start of the 3D wood-fired oven mosaic adventure from hell that led to a week of the utterly useless and extremely painful fingertips pictured above. I wanted something dimensional to accent what is otherwise a very flat, boring facade, so I concocted a way to make a heat-proof sculptural element around the oven opening using a wire armature and vermicrete, aka a mixture of vermiculite and portland cement that I could cover with a colorful glass mosaic.

building the 3D mosaic surface on WFO facade
(The foil you see here was just a temporary holder-upper)

While the vermicrete cured I started in on adding some totally awesome stainless steel pennyround tile to the main portion of the facade. Big splurge, that stuff.

tiling the WFO facade, in progress

I think I once saw a t-shirt that said "mosaicists bleed for their art". I need one.
Prior to now I've always kept my stained glass mosiac-ing to flat or flat-ish surfaces...wisely so as it turns out. But hey, as I've said before, suffering for art seems to be sort of my thing...

almost finshed facade
Applying that gorgeous red glass to the 3D sculpture, no problem. Grouting around those razor sharp shards on such a dimensional surface, BIG, BLOODY PROBLEM. And a problem that I couldn't really bail out on once I'd started. Grouting is fun that way.

But, as has so often been made clear in the whole WFO project, it's all worth it in the end, especially when the end is roasted meat! Big thanks to my pal Brian for the excellent food shot below. Following the mosaic carnage, I threw a party for myself that involved a keg of beer and six roast chickens, and the finger agony was forgotten.
chicken chicken chicken