Friday, January 27, 2017

On other Gender Neutral Fronts

While I'm constructing the OutHouse, I've also been working on other pieces for the Gender Neutral exhibition including the bucket for the OutHouse (I mean in theory you have to pee somewhere, right?)
This is the second version as I blew a hole in the first bucket by doing a not so great job of glazing! When building this one, I made sure I made the sides thicker and I changed up the part where the handle will be attached, so actually it was a good thing I blew up the first bucket as I'm like this one much better! Currently it is being fired, assuming that goes well, I can glaze this one - doing a much better job this time around and it will be complete about mid February. 

I'm discovering that making these large vessels takes much longer to complete than it did when I was making the Cupcakes...

Once I finished building the bucket, it was then onto my Chamber Pot series, or rather the Pot to Pee In series! Prior to indoor plumbing, chamber pots were used to go to the bathroom at night when a trip to the outhouse was less desirable. After researching various pot designs I came up with my own variation.

This is chamber pot #1, first made out of porcelain and then I made a second one out of B Clay as porcelain was not proving to be cooperative in this endeabor. What you see here is the porcelain version which is also in the process of being fired. The B Clay one is still in the drying stage.

This is an example of my paper template for Chamber Pot #2. Because I'm not the greatest at math, I'm discovering I'm having a hard time figuring out the angles of the pot sides. I did find a free program on the internet that can formulate and print out a basic cone template but then its up to me to figure out how to piece it together to make the pot. 

I've begun construction of this one in clay but it is still in process. It will be a little shorter than the first one. As far as the third one (it will be a series of three pots total), it is still in the sketching stage. Soooo.... that's it for now! 

Progress Report on the OutHouse

Although the cold weather has made working on the OutHouse a challenge (shop tools and cold fingers don't go well together), I am coming along on the project!

I did some tweaking on the front of the bench by adding an extra panel so that it appeared a little more finished visually.
Here I am installing the front wall of the Out House. It was a little tricker than the other walls because the front is constructed a little differently with the support beams and the door frame.

Next up is the construction of the door frame. It was a relatively easy project although I must say I managed to strip a number of screws in the process - it seems the wood gets harder the longer it sits and dries out.
Interestingly even though I measured and measured again the door seems to be a wee bit wider at the top than the bottom so placing the panels involved some creative spacing... needless to say this OutHouse will have excellent ventilation!

Door is installed! I had to take it to RMCAD prior to install so my assistant and I could cut the Moon/Star into it - I created the template which he then transfered to the door and cut! The handle and the hinges are stainless steel.
And the door works!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

OutHouse Pottie Hole

Now that the holidays are over it's back to work in the studio or in this case the garage! Monday was the warmest day of the week at a whooping 50 degrees, well at least when I started! The following images show the various steps of the building process.

I first started with the bench itself, then added the supported on the bench followed by the cutting of the hole and adding of the support legs. I'm thinking I will add a beam or two along the front to finish off the front visual.

Next up (next Monday which is the next warmish day ... again in the fifties!)

Step 1
The Bench

Step 2
The Hole

Step 3
The Supports

Step 4
What the OutHouse will Look Like when the 4 Walls will be Connected!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wall Four of the Out House

Despite the cold, wall four of the Out House is complete! Below you will see the sketch for it followed by the frame and the wall in progress to completion. I had to do some tweaking of the frame because the longer boards were six feet, which was a wee bit short. To make adjustments for this I added a second set of cross boards to cover the seams. After they were on, it didn't visually look right so the original cross beam needed to be added but then the spacing would be off. After a day or two of contemplation, I figured out how to make the correction. Last Friday Mark, my assistant, came over to work on finishing the final wall. 

Next up will be the bench, followed by the door and the roof! Sadly my porcelain bucket bit the dust in the kiln (poor glazing job on my part) so its back to square one with the bucket. Just as well as I didn't care for the embellishments I had added. So tomorrow I start over again... finishing the first chamber pot and then remake the bucket for the Out House. Fingers crossed it goes better the second time!

Sketchbook Drawing of Wall #4

The first go round of the Frame

The second go round with the adjustments made for the shorter boards

Here the longer side slates are attached first followed by the top.

This is the first version with the shorter cross bars covering the seams but visually 
it doesn't look right.

Short bars removed, original cross beam added and short bars reattached to cover the seams and butt up against the longer cross beam.

Finised Wall #4!

And... then there is the bucket! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

And.... We Have Three Walls!

Wednesday was a big day for the OutHouse.... it was the day we were to see if the walls we've been building would actually go together! Not having ever built anything before (I haven't but my assistant Mark has - Thank God!) we were constructing via my drawings in the sketchbook which again I have never designed a building before so it was really interesting to see if my 2D drawings would actually translate to 3D and.... here is what we have!

I'm behind the OutHouse holding the two walls together as Mark prepares to screw them together.

After they are screwed together we added metal brackets to make them more structurally sound.

And we have three walls! Mark and I have also decided that this OutHouse is way bigger than the Port-O-Potties we have today! We also added the support beams that are the first steps in building the bench of the OutHouse. The Porcelain bucket is also being constructed and currently in the kiln to be fired.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Gender Neutral Out House construction continues

Dispite dark coming earlier these days, snowy weather, broken drill bits, running out of screws and some warping of wood... construction continues on the Out House! Last week I completed the third wall of the House. This Wednesday my assistant and I will set to work seeing if the three walls will actually come together, we will make whateve adjustments needed and start to actually assemble the structure! I want to do this before we start on the forth wall which will be more complicated because it has the door. So here are some progress shots documenting the construction.

The frame

It was late in the day when I finally got the frame for wall three completed. Warped and spliting wood proved to be the challenge of the day!

 Construction begins, luckily when I was cutting the planks for side wall one I also cut and numbered the planks for side wall number two - this made building this wall so much easiler that the first one...

Or so I thought going into it... Three broken drill bits later and a run to Home Depot!

Back from HD production begins again... as it grows later in the day

Of course once the drill bits were purchased, I ran out of screws! So another run to the hardware store for yet more supplies...

Finally though the job gets done and now we have side wall number two complete!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Progress report on Gender Neutral Outhouse

Progress continues on the OutHouse. I've signed on an assistant to help with the construction of the OutHouse as well as work with me on the over all project. Mark Fitzsimmons is a former student of mine from RMCAD. During my opening reception for Objects of Desire he volunteered to help with the project after overhearing me tell another friend at the opening about my new concept and how I have never built a thing in my life but decided it was time to learn. So in turn, I inquired at school how we could turn this adventure into something that would also benefit him and thus he is my intern working on a Professional Experience internship with me. Although I refer to him as an assistant verses an intern because it puts us on more equal terms and feels more like a collaboration. 

And so progress continues... last Wednesday we built the frame for wall one.

The peak was a challenge but together we made it happen! And so here is the frame. The back end (my side) is 6 feet and the front (Mark's side) is 7 and 1/2 feet in height. 

Then on Friday I cut the planks and screwed them into our frame. Because the peak was challenging on Wednesday I figured I would start with that and work my way down.

And here is the fruit of my labor! Man looking at this picture the OutHouse looks huge! For some reason our modern day Port-O-Potties don't seem this big! Is it my imagination?

Then today I sketched out the construction of the Front of the OutHouse, figuring out the measurements and the various components that will go into constructing it, starting with the frame and then layering the different stages. 

Of course before we begin the construction of the front, the second sidewall needs to be built. That should be much easier the second time around because we were forward thinking when we were building the first sidewall in that while we were cutting the pieces for that one we also cut the pieces for the second wall. I also did the same thing on Friday with the planks so (in theory) it should be easy-peasy to construct on Wednesday. I will work solo on that one because of busy schedules this week but then we will join forces to build the front. Prior to that though I think I need to revisit how I'm going to connect the four walls and make sure I thought that aspect of the construction through. 

Overall, it’s been a fantastic experience and I'm finding I really like working with electric saws, drills and screwdrivers! It's also great having an assistant! Especially one that was a former medic in the military so that if I do something like cut off a finger, he can sew it back on easy-peasy!