Friday, May 9, 2014

Resin & Rope

Song of the Day: Bloodlines, Mimicking Birds

London Stuff: The London Evolution Animation

Three hundred meters of braided sisal rope. Three hundred meters of braided sisal rope. Three hundred...okay, you get it. It arrived on Friday afternoon; Kenz needed ten school friends to help load it into the mover's van. I scoffed at their weak, artist arms and proceeded to tug-o-war the monstrosity an entire three...inches...before asking for help. 

After a few minutes of struggle, one-two-THREE coordination, and a light glistening of perspiration, we three got it over to the side of the building, safely away from the view of the road. You know, in case someone had the wherewithal to steal three hundred meters of braided sisal rope in the dark of night.

Kenz, frugal that she is, had decided to bring home several items from the studio that will eventually need to be removed. Sure - if she's hiring a moving van for two hours, then why not, right? Well, what the hell are we going to do with all this nonsense kicking around the house for the next three months? She's a freaking homenado, constantly thwarting my attempts to be tidy.  


We eventually got to working on the chair by Saturday afternoon. The sun was out, it was a bank holiday weekend here in the UK (everyone had Monday off, so most folks had fled outside London), and the two of us were mentally prepared for what Kenz had dubbed a "team building activity."

Extending the braid from the unbraided section (braided = chair; unbraided = hang on a wall).

Setting up the mould on its side.

Hammering dowels.

Getting the petroleum jelly ready. 

Everything smelled like a baby's bottom! 

The jelly keeps the rope from sticking to the mould once the resin begins to soak in.

We oomphed and ugh'd for half an hour, wrapping the rope around the mould.

Bottom is the bottom of the chair - the top is the top; it's like a lounge chair.

Respirator time - both of us spoke like Bane for the first few minutes. 

Kenz is all about safety first. 
We spent the next three hours mixing resin and then applying it to every nook and cranny of that rope chair. It was mildly amusing trying to explain the chair to curious neighbors as they entered and exited the building - all while wearing respirators. Most folks had the same confused-but-polite reaction. Kenz and I had much more fun than, I think, either of us expected. Of course, during the application of the resin, my hands weren't free for any pictures. It would take six hours to cure, so we closed up shop after the first application and moved on with plans for the evening.

Finished for the day.
Kenz doesn't usually plan theatre nights; that's my domain. However, she found out about one particular play that had her so excited that she booked the tickets on her own. The two of us headed into central London that evening to see 1984. We were both pretty stoked, each of us being fans of the book.

It was busy along the Golden Jubilee Bridge(s).

We both thoroughly enjoyed the show, despite being frightened and queasy during several moments. 
Afterward, the two of us decided to take a stroll in weather that hinted at spring. This time of year is great along Southbank because there's a variety of festivals going on - some free, some pay-to-play. We took advantage of the late night food stalls along the river.

Kenz got patatas bravas, naturally.

I got some ribs, naturally.

All in all, a successful "team building" day.


Celia was out of town, making some final preparations for their wedding in a few weeks, so Owen came down to ours for some brunch on Sunday morningternoon. He thought we'd be watching some NBA playoff games. Little did he know he'd get voluntold to help out with round two of the rope chair!

Outfitted in one of my shirts...

Kenz even went and got Owen his own respirator! 

The second coat of resin went on much faster since it wasn't soaking into the fibers of the rope, but having a third set of hands sped up the process exponentially. The three of us finished the job in less than two hours. Luckily, we had just enough resin to complete the task. Kenz had to order more once we went back inside.

Afterward, we relaxed on the couch and took to FaceTime.

Owen and I called Nancy...

...who happened to be at her parents' house...

...going through old camp photos...

...finding a twelve year-old photo of us!

Kenz will be spending more time applying resin to the chair as the next week progresses. I have no idea how we're going to get it back to the school. Heaven help us. 


I took a walk in Burgess Park on the bank holiday Monday afternoon, enjoying the sights and sounds of folks enjoying their day off. 

Table tennis!

Ducks were loving it.

Got it! 

Kenz got her stroll on later in the evening.


Other than that, it's been a pretty traditional week: Kenz has been making artstuffs and clogging up the house. 

More knots to be cast in bronze.

Runners and risers.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Morning meditator in Burgess Park