Progress Isn’t Pretty

I’m going to be showing a lot of pictures of progress. Progress is not always pretty. But it is exciting, and the fact that these pictures show giant steps in the progress of White Church Gallery is extra-exciting, if such a state of being exists.

'Bout to get extra-excited!
‘Bout to get extra-excited!

Some things that were never meant to be seen by the general public are actually quite pretty. Women’s underwear can be very fancy, and I’ve seen shiny engines under the hood of a car that should be hanging on the wall as art.

Fanciness.
Fanciness.

The church’s underwear-engine is the spray foam. But it’s not all that pretty. It’s more like flannel underwear than silk.

After the plaster and lathe was taken out, the church was looking a little bare-bones.
After the plaster and lathe was taken out, the church was looking a little bare-bones.
You could see daylight through some of the planks.
So we had it spray foamed. Here’s a messy before and after…
Messy before...
Messy before…
Messy after!
Messy after!
But the Church is as snug as a bug in a rug! No breezes blowing through the walls now! No weird smells coming from the ancient wood. It just feels different in here!
Spray foamed walls.
Spray foamed walls.
The Wine Room! Cozy!
The Wine Room! Cozy!
Windows aren't insulated...yet!
Windows aren’t insulated…yet!
So what is spray foam? Why not the old school pink fiberglass? Here’s what I got from Wikipedia:
Spray foam insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. Studies by the US department of Energy show that 40% of a home's energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through the walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulation typically insulate as much as 50% better than traditional insulation products.
Spray foam insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. Studies by the US department of Energy show that 40% of a home’s energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through the walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulation typically insulate as much as 50% better than traditional insulation products.
It’s got a higher R-value than most other insulators. That means it’s cozier, comfier, and just better. To me it looks like a cake that was frosted! To cold air it looks like a inpenetrable blanket.

The next layer on the cake is the drywall. I’ve been asked why we got rid of the old plaster and lathe, and why we didn’t replace it with the same.We got rid of the old plaster because we really needed to insulate the church, and spray foaming was the way to go. So the plaster had to go, so that the spray foam could get where it needed to go.

We are trying to do this project right. The Church was built with loving hands over 100 years ago, and it has lasted this long, even though it fell into disuse (and possibly misuse) in the meantime. We’d like it to last at least another 100, long after we’re gone. We put a new roof on to prevent further decay. We added an economical and earth-friendly heating/cooling system, Geothermal. [Spoiler alert] We put in a septic system!  And someday the Church will have water! (and with water and septic come a bathroom!) So we are spending the money and effort now to make sure the Church will survive into the next century.
As far as what we’ll replace it with, it’s an economical and aesthetic matter. We’re using drywall, but we will be using a paint that has a stucco finish, so it will actually retain some of the look of the original plaster, without being as heavy and expensive as plaster and lathe.

So, it’s a work in progress, a little messy at times, but we’re always working toward making it better!

And it's all ours!
And it’s all ours!

– The White Church Gallery

With A Little Help From Our Friends…

That’s how we get by!
As we were ready to get started on round two of “bringing down the walls…” we had company arrive.
John and Chummy were the first to show up! Don’t let the white hair fool you. These two are stronger than oxen on steroids! For real! Polish oxen!

"Where's the pry bar? Let's get going!"
“Where’s the pry bar? Let’s get going!”

Next thing you know, two trucks and a motorcycle pull up. It’s Picard and Co., to the rescue once again! Now the pictures are going to get messy. Blurry and dusty. These human tornadoes took the other three walls down before 3 pm.  All we could do was duck for cover!

Wait for me!
Wait for me!

P1010070

"cough cough"
“cough cough”
Triumvirate of Tearing Down, Dervishes of Demolition, Tazmanian Devils of Destruction!
Triumvirate of Tearing Down, Dervishes of Demolition, Tazmanian Devils of Destruction!

On to the side. Move the scaffolding, fellas…

"easy there..."
“easy there…”

And so it went, tear it down, haul it out, go back for more.

Wall #3, gonzo!
Wall #3, gonzo!
What's for lunch?
What’s for lunch?

Next thing you know, it’s all over but the pizza!

"That went well. Urp."
“That went well. Urp.”
What's next?
What’s next?
Keep on keepin' on!
Keep on keepin’ on!
Great things were done today.
Great things were done today.
all that's left is water...septic...spray foam...dry wall...paint walls and ceiling...lighting...floors...almost done!!
all that’s left is water…septic…spray foam…dry wall…paint walls and ceiling…lighting…floors…almost done!!

– The White Church Gallery

Pardon Our Dust!

The walls have come tumblin’ down. But not without a lot of coaxing, urging, and back breaking labor!
First step: prep. I spent a day solo moving all the furniture and tools into two aisles so that the walls were clear. I felt very empowered after the move.The place was a mess, as you see.

Bird's-eye Before shot
Bird’s-eye Before shot
Better...two aisles.
Better…two aisles.
Wall almost clear...
Wall almost clear…
Except for the massive piano harp. That will take two.
Except for the massive piano harp. That will take two.

Step two: start ripping out plaster and lathe. Scaffolding set up, tools assembled. Masks on, ready, set, go!

Shrouded for now.
Shrouded for now.

P1010030

Here’s the “time lapse” of the wall coming down.

Grime doesn't pay!
Grime doesn’t pay!
We can breathe easy now!
We can breathe easy now!

Third step: down in the trenches, shoveling plaster and lathe, taking it out to the dumpster, and back for more.

P1010083

Tired. Empowered!
Tired. Empowered!

One wall down, three to go. That’s enough for one weekend…

P1010119

Step four: Time for some eats and drinks! Step it up, Captain Barbeque!

"With or without plaster dust?" "Without, please!"
“With or without plaster dust?” “Without, please!”
– The White Church Gallery