Happy Birthday!

I turned 48 on Friday, May 15th, and I will tell you about the most exciting birthday I’ve had in a long time!

How sweet!
How sweet!

But not because of the cake, though it was sweet and thoughtful! It was about the Window!
The last time we saw the quatrefoil window , the frame was remade. Meanwhile, glass artist extraordinaire Tom Newton had been plotting and planning the glass art for the window.

 

Shadowed in Mystery!
Shadowed in Mystery!
???...
???…

Today was the day. The window was to arrive, and installation was to begin!

But let’s go back in time…on May 15, 1967, a young woman named Carolyn (Ma!) was giving birth to a 10 pound baby. That was me. Sorry, Ma.  Fast forward 48 years, and that baby now weighs 133 pounds and now a project taking nearly four years and much of her resources to gestate is finally coming to fruition. But, as with any good thing, its beauty is from the Grace of God and the reflection of him in the people around us. Tom and Sandie are such reflections.

Here’s Sandie putting the clear glass down on the outside.

It fits!
It fits!

Next comes the artwork.

The little sticker says, "Made In Germany"
The little sticker says, “Made In Germany”

The glass is pre-war WW2 german glass the Tom acquired in a business deal. The clear glass goes on the outside, the precious colored glass on the inside. I was honored when he noticed the glazing I had done on the Church windows and asked if I’d like to help glaze this window. Yes please!
So here’s the process:

Outer Pieces
Outer Pieces

Next:

Inner Circle piece
Inner Circle piece

And altogether:

Ahhhhhhh!
Ahhhhhhh!

And so. The little pieces of tape help align the glass pieces. The tacks (unseen) hold the glass in, and the glazing seals the whole bit.

Tom and Sandie cleaned it up and got it ready for the install.

They clean it with a fine powder that takes all the fingerprints off!
They clean it with a fine powder that takes all the fingerprints off!

The install was a feat of engineering. The chief engineer this day happened to be our electrician, Dave Schramski. It was a perfect example of teamwork. Dave had an idea, and we all wanted someone with a good idea to tell us how to get this work of art up a ladder without breaking it!

A frame was built!

That's Schramski on the faaaar right...
That’s Schramski on the faaaar right…

The window was laid in…

Careful there!
Careful there!

And then wrapped for uber protection aloft.

Are we mailing this to Hong Kong?
Are we mailing this to Hong Kong?

No, just trying to get it safely to the window opening…

It's not a hauling project without ropes!
It’s not a hauling project without ropes!

So two men were carrying it up the ladder, and Mike and I were on the ropes pulling it up. It went quite smoothy, but I couldn’t take pictures since I had promised to have both hands on the rope! Luckily Sandie did and was kind enough to send them to me. But I do believe Kind is Sandie’s middle name!

Upsy-daisy!
Upsy-daisy!

Up it went in its cocoon, and Chief Shramski went out on the ladder to make sure the window didn’t get pushed through to the ground. ( I still have shocking memories of having pushed an air conditioner out a second story window trying to install it!)

He didn't like it when a gust of wind pushed the door against the ladder…
He didn’t like it when a gust of wind pushed the door against the ladder…

Inside, the boys had to loft the window into place.

Careful!
Careful!
And of course, final adjustments must be made!
Rotate Counterclockwise. No, that's Clockwise to you!
Rotate Counterclockwise. No, that’s Clockwise to you!

It was a logistical puzzle. But we did it, and the window was installed. All that remained was for nature to light it up!

And, of course, nature showed up for the job!
What do you think?

It's in!
It’s in!

And so, God said, let there be light!

Let There Be Light!
Let There Be Light!
Happy birthday, Glorious Window!
Yes!
Yes!
– The White Church Gallery

Caulk and Spackle, Toil and Trouble…

Sorry Shakespeare!
Sorry Shakespeare!

It was another Sunday Morning session with the white pasty substances. Using Fast and Final spackle is almost like frosting a cupcake. Here, let me show you!

Astronomy-related treats for my students!
Astronomy-related treats for my students!

I recently made cupcakes in the colors of stars: orange-red stars are cool small stars, and blue stars are hot and bright. Our Sun is there in the middle. The Main Sequence is the result of the relationship between color, temperature and lifetime of stars.

HR+Diagram(units)

I had fun making them, and I thought spackling and caulking would be just like that!

Frosting?
Frosting?
stuff and spread...
stuff and spread…
Yes, just like frosting cupcakes....
Yes, just like frosting cupcakes….
...except for, like, EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT!
…except for, like, EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT!

I didn’t have to frost the cupcakes on my side, in piles of dust and spider webs, trying to stuff “frosting”  into cracks upside down. Darn gravity!

Smooth!
Smooth!
Eventually this will all be painted over, and realistically, no one will ever rest their eyes on this part of the building, but there is a sense of satisfaction knowing that it is done and done right, or as right as rookie me can get it.
Meanwhile, Grindstone Mike was working on the quatrefoil window frame. Sanding and caulking was the order of business.
Sanding
Sanding
We also put up trim between the ceiling and the wall along the back of the church with toe molding.
Could you hold this, please?
Could you hold this, please?
We angle- cut the molding so the pieces would fit nicely against each other and be held in. I’m learning a lot about how buildings are put together. I ask a lot of questions, but luckily Mike is very smart and knows the answers.
"If we don't angle them, it will look like crap..."
“If we don’t angle them, it will look like crap…”
I’m good with it!
So up the ladder with all the tools and materials.
Nail gun control!
Nail gun control!
And wah lah, the finished product. Again, will anyone ever notice? Probably not, but they’d notice if it WASN’T done, so it must be done!
Voila!
Voila!
Another cold, dry, windy Sunday in Grindstone City. Another chunk of work done. But as Shakespeare said, “Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.” So we are feeling joyful!
Yaaaaay!!
Yaaaaay!!
Hard to tell, isn't it!
Hard to tell, isn’t it!
But it is done, and it was kinda fun! We’re learning a lot, trying to enjoy ourselves, and imagining the finished project. A beautiful church, an art gallery filled with gorgeous and thought–provoking art in many different media, lots of light and color and love!
"If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work." -William Grindstone Shakespeare
“If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.”
-William Grindstone Shakespeare
– The White Church Gallery

Repair, Restore, Remake

Those are comforting words. Repair: to fix what’s wrong. Restore: to bring back what once was. And when you can’t restore or repair, then remake! Do what you gotta do.

As you know if you’ve been following the story of the White Church Gallery, or perhaps better known to locals as the Grindstone City Methodist Church, the Church needs lots of love and tenderness. Even when tenderness means opening a can of whoop-ass on it.

Whoop whoop!
Whoop whoop!

Repair: One whole corner of the church had serious water damage. Time and tide had left a hole in the roof, allowed water to cascade down into the wall, and turned the support structure into a weird kind of wood-soup. Dry, chunky wood soup. That makes no sense, but when you grab a handful of it, it’s what comes to mind.

A year and a half ago, we thought it was artsy.
What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger...
What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger…
But it turned out to be rotten to the core.
'S gotta go!
‘S gotta go!
So once the plaster and lathe went, operations moved into the guts of the support system.
Well at least he's not a plumber...
Well at least he’s not a plumber…
By the way, the lathe had a glorious ending. At first, everyone wanted some lathe. “Good for starting fires” “I need some too!” “I’ll take some lathe.” Yet somehow I ended up with a giant pile of it.  Then it was all, “Get rid of the Lathe!” “It’s going to attract ‘coons  and skunks!” “Should have just put in the dumpster.” So I had to get rid of it. My pyromaniac tendencies won out in the end.
Lathe fire!
Lathe fire!
It was a good night of burning, bright hot fire, a little after-glow fire water, and lots of yuks…
blah blah yuk yuk...
blah blah yuk yuk…
Even the moonflower came out for some fun…
Up with the Moon!
Up with the Moon!
The morning after…
Burnt!
Burnt!
Scavenging square nails kept me busy…
P1010134
Stay tuned for what becomes of the nails…
What the HECK will I do with these?
What the HECK will I do with these?
So long story short, the floor got repaired.
Pollock Ingenuity!
Pollock Ingenuity!
Pollocks get things done. And how!
And then they sit around and talk about the glory days, even if it was literally thirty minutes ago!
"Remember when we repaired the floor in the southeast corner?"
“Remember when we repaired the floor in the southeast corner?”
So that’s the repair work. Restoring  came with the remaking. Remember (what I consider to be) the coolest feature of the church: the quatrefoil window?
Weather -beaten beauty.
Weather -beaten beauty.
With a little help from our (Amish) friends, it was remade.
Into this:
Remade!
Remade!
Stay tuned to see what happens next. Thinking- colored glass, to reflect the colors of the gospels. – The White Church Gallery

Uncovering the Window

For as many years as can be remembered by the living, there has been a red circle with a white cross in the front of the Church.

000_0428

000_0433

Here’s the story of the uncovering of the Quatrefoil window.

First light was quite exciting!

Now you see it,
Now you see it,
Now you don't!
Now you don’t!

I couldn’t take pictures of bringing the window down since I was holding the lowering rope! But she is down, and ready to be loved. It’s not clear yet whether she will be restored or will become a museum piece. She’s in rough shape.

P1010100

Most of the glass was intact, but in order to repair the window, all the glass had to come out. That meant all the brittle glazing had to be picked out. I did the best I could, but it became apparent that the glass was really not worth saving in this case. Yes, it was old and original, but we think the reason it was covered it because it’s too fragile for the westerly weather it had to take. So new glass will have to be made for it.

Antique brittle glazing + dry rotted wood = bye bye glass.
Antique brittle glazing + dry rotted wood = bye bye glass.

P1010104

I did manage to remove the center glass without mishap. And never fear, I saved most of the pieces for the future. I’m sure a project will arise that will call for antique warbly glass.

The bones.
The bones.

Exciting!

Meanwhile, the other window is coming along…

Primer
Primer
Nice sanding job!
Nice sanding job!

We’re still debating colors, so stay tuned…

– The White Church Gallery