…overheard while eating chicken soup on a tuesday night…and the rest of the sentence was, ” but it takes three years of your life and a ton of money.”
Michael was referring to the renovation of White Church Gallery, specifically the altarpiece we’re working on.
This past weekend was all about putting some wood up on the front of the church. I started the ball rolling on Friday by pulling staples. It’s been awhile since I’d done it, and it seemed harder somehow than the last time. The staples were rusty and stubborn. It was the opposite of fun.
I had to clear the floor around the pillars, because work was about to commence on them. So I pulled staples and sanded around the front of the Church. Saturday morning, bright and early, we got to the church filled with eagerness and a bit of anxiousness. We’d been working on the wood planks for almost two months now, taking them from rough sawn planks all the way to the glorious art pieces they became. But now, after weeks and weeks of planning and plotting, we were finally going to see how the whole thing would look. Would it look as we intended- to be a glorious work of art? Or would it look like Dean Martin’s living room? (Actually- Dean Martin’s living room ain’t too bad!)
The first step was to do the bottom border. These border pieces came from giant planks of walnut.
This procedure took some hours, since it needed to be practically perfect. Level, fitted, and mitered.
All went fairly smoothly; there was a rhythm of measuring thrice and cutting once.
And then it happened. A boo boo. A piece of walnut got cut too short. Red Alert, Emergency! Luckily we had a chunk of unprocessed walnut nearby. I ran it through the planer a few times, I jointed the edges, then did a quick but thorough sand job on it. It would have to be clear-coated in situ. But it looked fine, and work could continue.
Walnut is a VERY hard wood, but it keeps a nice edge.
Once the base was finished, we started on the upright pieces.
Thanks to Rybak’s owners Paul and Ann for burning the late night oil with us and getting the first layers of the altar piece up. It was grueling, exacting, tiring, but inspiring.
And so it goes…piece by piece, bevel by bevel. Screw by awkward screw. Awkward, because Mike had to screw each of the boards in from the back.
His arm had to fit through the space you see here at the side. And then somehow bend around enough to put pressure on the driver to screw into extremely hard wood from the back. (After drilling a pilot hole.)
We had two different nail lengths depending on which wood it was going through. There was a lot of thought put into this! And it was exhausting work.
But we think it was worth it. Here’s the other side.
There are imperfections, and we’ll fix a few next time, but this represents so much effort that I hope it shows.
I had to take a selfie- and I think it’s my fave so far. Blurry, wrinkled eyes, weariness, but a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
The next morning, things still looked good, so we did a photo shoot.
Until we meet again!
– The White Church Gallery