This morning, to stay ahead of Barry’s ambition to cut into the copper, I cut out paper leaves from a roll of photo background paper at the back of our guestroom closet. I want to see the leaves in paper before committing to copper and to learn what we could about how to get the tapered shape at the bottom of the cob. Barry cuts out the first copper leaf and we decide it needs darts like in sewing to achieve the necessary bends and curves. We try it in the paper and then Barry performs the darts in copper. The solder joints look messy, but the shaping works. I’m impressed (once again) by Barry’s tenacity. I remember my friend John Ezell had once shown me a resist to paint on areas where you don’t want solder to run. You Tube shows us about yellow ochre.
We get news that our friends Pat and Patti Matthews have lost their home in Glen Ellen. Our hearts go out to you both.
Wednesday October 11: We say good-bye to Leon and then split forces. I go to Otto Frei for yellow ochre and copper rivets (too small) while Barry travels in a AAA tow truck with the electric Fiat to the repair shop (just what we need). He rents a car and picks up clamps to hold the seams while he solders the leaves. We move the stand into our living room (here goes our time of gracious living…) stack up the rounds of kernels, and try out the leaf. I’m encouraged to think we might actually get this done on time. But as I look at it from afar, the dark green of the newly painted interstices makes it look like a stove-pipe runs up through the centre of the cob. Can I live with it? Maybe.
Thursday morning (a week to opening night). We wake up wondering how to secure the leaves mid-way up the cob. The bottom of the leaves fit into a little cup on the shaft, and then what? Magnets maybe? Barry figures out a screen-door type hook and loop that can run from just above layer 2 on the inside of the leaves if we pin the styrofoam layers together to avoid any risk of shifting. Now another unexpected bit of paraphernalia creeps into the “cheated” area – this time a thin vertical rod of aluminum. (“Aluminum Rod, meet Steel Wedge.”) But it works! I go off to blow glass (one last cluster of grapes and a bunch of grape leaves) and Barry completes copper leaves 2 and 3 while I’m gone. The evening discussion is what kind of curve can we get at the top of the leaves – or should it be a more acute bend? We consult our real if slightly dry cob of corn which seems to favour the bend – but that will be difficult in copper. The body of the leaf needs to curl around the glass and to bend it the opposite way at the top results in a flat area. Barry tries it on our little test leaf…