Friday, June 8, 2012

Post-Artesian Reflections

On Monday morning, I drove to Olympia with an uncontrollable smile on my face.  Last day!  I knew I had 3 pails of grout to apply, and that it would be a rush, but I felt confident that I could finish.  It was drizzly, but plastic had been covering the surface to keep the concrete dry, and I had my canopy.

I set up and got started, and within an hour or so volunteers began to arrive.  I was surprised how many people felt compelled to be there for the last part, even though it was cold and rainy, and I had warned them that we were running out of things for everyone to do.  I think they all just wanted to see it through to the end.  Kim wiped down the epoxy grout while I mixed a new batch and kept on filling all of the grout lines with my spatula.  Susan filed sharp edges and Teasy polished the glass with superfine steel wool.  When Thor came, I had him mix the final batch of grout and he got the chance to try his hand at grouting for the first time.

Suddenly, it was time to pack up, but there was still about a foot-wide section without grout, and a lot of soft grout that still needed to be wiped down!  I knew Anouk was getting on the bus, and I needed to meet her at home.  Just then, Karen came by in her mini-van, and we came up with a plan.  Thor would finish grouting with help from the rest of the volunteers.  I left just the items they would need to finish up.  Karen would put supplies and the canopy in her van to hold onto until I can pick them up.  And I raced home, getting there a little bit late, but Anouk was home alone for no longer than 10 minutes.

It was hard to leave my big project without finishing it myself, but I was impressed that this group of people would jump in and save the day, and I knew they could do it.  The crew became very capable over the weeks they worked on the project.  Now, I realize that I could feasibly manage a community mosaic project without having to be present for the whole process.  Some of these volunteers could co-manage it with me as the lead, and we could take on projects all over Olympia and beyond!.  I've had my eye on that retaining wall right before the 4th Ave. bridge, on the hill - the one constantly being tagged and painted over.
Kim, Me, Karen, Thor, Susan, Teasy, and Robin - ready for the next project!

And the Eagles building.
And the walls of the Japanese Garden.
Just for a start.

On Wednesday, Lisandro and I took advantage of dry weather and did some filing and polishing.  We have a little bit more to go over, but it is essentially completed.  DONE!  I've been back at home and in the studio, trying to catch up on everything that has been neglected during the past 6 weeks.  It is overwhelming.  Floors need mopping, hooves need trimming, gates need fixing, the garden is about to be choked by morning glory, tilled garden beds are waiting to be planted, and my studio is piled so high with mess that it is hard to walk through it.  Meanwhile, I have committed to donations for art auctions and an exhibit, plus Matter Gallery has sold a lot of my work (yay!) so I need to get back to making art, asap.  I have so many ideas, and no ideas.  I'm finding it very hard to re-focus.

For now, I'm trying to just relax, recover, and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.