Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hurricane Party

"Hurricane party,
Getting out of control,
Lying in a gutter eating tootsie rolls"
-Cowboy Mouth

So yes, Hurricane Dolly is currently bearing down on the gulf, and specifically the southern tip of Texas. To be honest, I have never seen people so worked up about a Category 1 hurricane. Up here in Houston (literally hundreds of miles away), people are not panicking, but still talking about doomsday scenarios for flooding and wind. It is a little disturbing. Granted, I have now lived in three very hurricane prone areas (and island off of South Carolina, New Orleans, and now Houston) so I may be a little jaded. I was always seriously disturbed at the apparent nonchalance towards hurricanes in New Orleans, and they wound up paying for the laissez faire attitude. But at the same time, we didn't evacuate from Hilton Head (which is an island with one road off of it) for a Category 1. Forget it. There were some years rainstorms brought more rain and wind than a Cat 1. And I digress.

I've been pretty frustrated recently with my encaustic work. I love doing it, I love the translucency and the beauty of color. (These two pictures are shots of my table this week. I got so excited at all the beautiful colors I got to mix!) However, I do not love the amount of dry time that comes with varnishing these works. It has very much put me into a jam. I can wait for the encaustic part itself to dry (between 1-2 weeks depending on the thickness of the paint), but the varnish is takign 2-3 weeks, which eats up any available drying space I have. Not only that, but with a 3-5 week lead time from start to finish, I'm having some difficulties getting enough inventory made for my Etsy store. I would really like to have about 80-100 pieces in the store at any given time. I can then replace items as needed and focus some more larger pieces (like The Great Reef).

So here is what I have done to solve the problem:

1) Built a drying rack. This is a beast. 8 feet tall, made out of studs and dowels, mostly. It can hold between 15-30 pieces depending on if they are my 12x12 quads or my 10x24 trips. I started the shelves 3' off the floor to help avoid some dust.

2) I'm working on my varnish mixture. Hopefully adding some OMS will help speed up the dry time but still protect the pieces. Because they stay so tacky for so long, I've had lots of problems with lint and dust getting into the varnish and I've been having to pick it out. Not so much fun.

Other than that, I am going to be working online for most of the day today. It's looking like a yucky day, so the lighting will be awful in my studio. Might as well make the most of a rainy day and spend it on some much needed business development. Stay dry and think of happy colors!

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