The Hard Part, or back to our regular programming.

The sanding, scraping, refining part. Frames are "white" at this point, gesso applications are done; drying is done ... and now to the finger splitting, mind melting part. Sanding smooth, refining edges and curves, and making ready for the FINISH.

I use a combination of carving tools, small rifflers of various shape, and various scrapers, as well as various sanding blocks, various shapes. In the gessoing process, edges get soft, lines get filled. The French make tools specifically for the carving of gesso, usually in conjunction with carving in general ... me, I just use what I have, the small carving tools, scrapers and rifflers. 

(riffler |ˈriflər| noun
a narrow elongated tool with a curved file surface at each end, used in filing concave surfaces.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: from French rifloir, from Old French rifler ‘to scrape.’

It's those French again. Wonderful place, France; I've been fortunate to spend a few weeks in France, both Paris and  La France Profond, the country side, Provence actually. Waiters still sneer at my French, but I do get what I ordered. I take that as a great compliment. Any place that has as much variety in wine and cheese, and also has restaurants devoted to nothing more than "snails", Escargot ( Snails, broiled in a combination of butter, garlic, and parsley, in the shell) ... well, that is a good thing. In the photo below, please note that the snail is gilt. One of those "small" regrets, is that I didn't find this restaurant until we were leaving, and that was on a Sunday, and France, being Catholic; many businesses are closed. There are regional variations in the recipe; after all, it is France.

Mean while, back at the ranch,  where the bleeding, split fingers are. In the winter, the back and forth and pressure of sanding tends to aggravate the skin splitting. 

Any way, the idea is to clean, refine and smooth the edges and surfaces.To make edges crisp, and everything ready for the bole.


End of an Era


Yesterday, truely the passimg of an era.
I'm a long time fan of cycling, and enjoy the TdF a lot. One of the more poignant moments for me was in 96, when Lance abandoned the tour on a fog and mist enshrouded mountain side; took his number off, and drifted back down the mountain, into the fog, none of us knowing the pain he felt was the cancer riddleing him. He survived to become the champion of champions. Today was sad, though handled with grace and humour, through the pain. After his third crash, fourth in this tour, he stood, hands on hips, looking at his bike, then mounted and "sat up", knowing that the tour he had dominated completely, finally had turned on hin.  I hope that he will finish, help his team, and enjoy  "Le grand boucle" as just a "rider".

Mural by Shepard Fairey, Photo uncredited.



Above, correction of a MISTAKE; one that I seem to need to repeat every blue moon, as the mistake always involves One Inch, too short or too narrow, and always one inch. In this case, I was ripping stock for some 3 1/2 inch wide moldings, which I very carefully measured and set my fence on the table saw to exactly 2 1/2 inches. Fairly easy fix, as I did have the right size stock to work from, and other than the time involved to glue the missing inch onto the sticks, not really a problem, though the few minutes of unease after realizing the mistake ... and then thinking it through, pfui. Because my bench is flat, I can use it as a caul, a pressure plate for clamping operations.

It has been said that a master is not one who doesn't make mistakes, but one who knows how to correct them when a mistake is made. Just glad this one wasn't worse.

 Here, the cleaned up sticks, ready to be molded. I "lost" about an 1/8th of an inch in thickness cleaning the faces of glue, etc., but I was oversize, so I'm still within my design parameters.