Sparks Fly On Cynthia’s New Studio ~ Plus Armando Makes A Planter

Cynthia’s Hot Glass Studio: Cynthia enjoys making glass beads. She currently has a studio in the old kiosko (small roadside building for selling stuff to passersby) at the property we rent:

Here’s the kiosko when we moved into the rental house four years ago. Yes, Jabo made the jump. In the upper right of the photo is a price list; the owner of the house made concrete animals for sale. The next photo shows the price list.

I’m holding a squirrel (ardilla). My favorite would probably be “banbi” which I assume was a little deer, as in Bambi.

But it is not ideal as airflow is too windy for delicate torch work. Also, the road is noisy with all the passing trucks engine-braking down the hill, and the two-stroke Hell-bent-on-destruction, death-wish motorcyclists screaming around the curve are enough to give anyone the rattles. Plus, there is a gecko that poops on her torch and then there are the ants… they are everywhere.

So she has been lobbying for me to make a new studio at the new house. We decided to dedicate the area at the west end of my shop for her studio. There is already a roof overhang and a concrete slab there, but because it was just going to be a slab, I didn’t put in a footing large enough to support concrete block walls. I decided to make the enclosure out of metal carriolas and the same metal panels that I put on the shop roof. Here I am welding some of the 2″x3″ carriolas, and I have already placed the panels on the end wall:

Here are a couple photos of me cutting away the metal to make a window opening. Handling the big angle grinder was enough for me for the day what with my advanced stage of decrepidicity:

I still need to put a few more screws in the corner and some trim on the rafter tails up at the roof line.

The big angle grinder kicks like a mule if you aren’t careful. All muscles and body mechanics are in play.

Cyn gives the beginnings of her new space two high fives:

Don’t let the smile fool you. She’ll be cracking the whip on Monday.

There is still a lot more to be done including the other end wall with the door, electrical, exhaust system, insulation, benches and shelves. (Cyn adds, plus more tubes to my glass storage rack. Don’t forget!) I’ll keep at it.

More Planters: Let’s face it. This is going to be a big house in a not-so-big-house neighborhood. So that our neighbors won’t say, “There goes the neighborhood,” we want the place to be as natural in its setting as possible. So keeping with our neighborly decision to have the outside looking as nice as possible as soon as possible, I put Armando to work on some planters by the flying buttresses.

I made sparks, Armando made dust:

I get no end of entertainment watching block work go up in Panama. There is absolutely no need for a level until the very last moment. Here we have just stripped the forms off the left planter and are pouring the beam on the right planter:

Here Armando uses the planks to run wheelbarrows full of dirt up and into the planter:

We’ll let the dirt settle for a few weeks. Next month I would like to get another yard or two of topsoil for these planters. We’ll plant a low growing flowering plant that will spill over the wall.

Walkway: Because of the slope of the lot, we need a nice level walkway under the carport roof and in front of the containers. One day when it started raining early, I moved Armando off the planter project to dig a foundation trench for a block wall for the walkway. Stay tuned on this one…:

Roof metal reflects off the water in the trench. Armando didn’t need a level for this trench; he just dug and let the water tell him the level line.

Jabo: When I was a young boy back in the 1950s, we lived next door to Winfield Parks, a National Geographic photographer. Here’s a photo he took that I found via Google (Source):

Romanian Couple by Winfield Parks

When he wasn’t off on assignment, Win was often taking photos of his German Shepherd, and the photos would appear in the local newspaper. He would dress the dog in funny costumes and shoot amusing photos. I haven’t resorted to dressing Jabo (yet…), but I do like to photograph him, as does Cynthia. Here are a couple pictures Cyn took of Jabo enjoying a new pile of sand:

Cool sand, hot dog in the sun.

Nose first; will the rest of him follow his chameleon attempt?

“I know I am the watch dog on duty, but I really need a siesta.”

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.