|Kim Webster, The Glass Gardener
Okay. 5 days to go until the opening. I've gotten the feather structure attached and chopped off some of the peacock's butt with the bolt cutters. Dear Patty - on hold for several days now - comes over to examine progress and help with the fibre glass coating that will surround the armature and hopefully be strong enough to support the mosaic and grout... but I progress faster in my mind than in reality! Here's how it goes: both accomplished seamstresses (as well as glassblowers), but with no experience at applying fiberglass mesh, we take the slippery fabric , drape it onto the armature and decide on our cut lines. We end up with about 8 pieces all marked. I mix what turns out to be way too much epoxy resin and we start applying it to the mesh on the back of the bird. It is goopy, smelly stuff and the fibre of the mesh have a tendency to peel off and get stuck to the brushes. Somehow we get most of the bird covered but then suddenly the epoxy hardens in the bucket with the brush still in it. Completely stiff. I mix more (but more conservative in quantity this time) and we manage to get the whole structure covered by propping the neck of the bird onto a propane tank while we apply epoxy to his bottom parts and avoid some disadvantageous gravitational pull. Now we have to wait til the 'morrow to see if this is going to work as a substructure. Then there will be 4 days til opening. I'm beginning to prepare and take account: two days to get the mosaic on and one day to grout plus an overnight to dry and then install the afternoon of the opening. There might be just enough time...
Kim is a glassblower, gardener and choral singer. She is a Canadian transplant, living happily in Oakland, CA with her husband Barry Stone.