snowy day with Polyester
Sunday, December 4 2005
It was, as we say around here, a poopy day. It started with an inch or so of snow on the ground, and if you throw a hot fire and not a lot ambition into the mix, topped off with a John Waters movie, well, there was nothing left to salvage. The movie, by the way, was Polyester, which I've seen at least once before. Afer wallowing in all that subtle deformity and concentrated middle-aged/middle-class unphotogenerosity, Gretchen and I felt like we needed shower (and whatever the equivalent mental ritual might happen to be).
For the past several days some fraction of my attention has been on a cupped metal disk, the kind used to cover the electrical box in the ceiling where a chandelier hangs. This particular disk actually did once cover a ceiling electrical box in the dining room, but it was removed along with its chandelier soon after we moved into our house over three years ago. The old chandelier was a heinous tiffany monstrosity that Gretchen carted to the dump, though it was immediately recognized as a treasure by someone there. It assuredly lives on, hanging above a dining area in some West Hurley trailer. Somehow, though, the cover disk stayed in my possession, and only recently attracted that fraction of my attention. I've been wanting to build an electrically-powered copper candelabra to hang in the dining room, but if I'm to do so, I'm going to need a plate like the one whose history I just provided. The problem, though, is its tacky gold finish. I tried electroplating over it with copper, but nothing stuck to it and I had to assume the gold was actually kind of paint or enamel. So I sanded it and then through it in the fire in hopes that whatever was still on it burned away. It was onto this surface that I was able to electroplate a thin, uneven coat of metal dissolved from an old piece of copper plumbing. It's a huge improvement and it's now perfect for any sculptural project involving copper.
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