Making progress

I have to admit that I’ve been skeptical that we would finish the spray booth in time for Addi’s visit. I had set that as my deadline because I knew that using my tabletop spray booth was going to present a problem. My studio is small – just a converted dining room – so I have one workspace that doubles as both an airbrushing station and a general painting table. Having a removable spray booth fit that need, but it wasn’t going to work well with two artists working together.

But perhaps more important, the booth’s fan was underpowered. This wasn’t a big concern with the transluscent underglazes that I use for most of my painting, since they aren’t especially toxic. It was, however, an issue for the leaded glazes that go over the underglazes. To stay safe when using them, I would take the airbrush and compressor and spray outside. Delays to accomodate the weather have been fine with my own erratic schedule; I have far more disruptive things at work most weeks! But if there is one thing I’ve learned about artist visits it’s that time gets really tight. I didn’t want our firing schedule governed by the weather. It seemed like a good excuse to upgrade my spray booth.

Of course, this all looked so very easy to do by mid-October, back in July when the plans were being made. I simply forgot that nothing gets done around here until the last minute. Whether we decided to undertake the project in July or not, no one was going to be making a booth until September!

So I have been scrambling to prime and paint all the pieces these last few days. Here Alan has rigged a clothesline for them. This allowed me to paint all the sides at once, without having to worry about laying them down to dry. This worked really well while I primed them with Kilz, which dried almost as soon as I applied it.

The white enamel paint was a different matter. It took forever to dry, and I kept bumping into the still-wet pieces as I moved along the line. It was like returning to my cold-painting days, when friends rarely saw me without paint on my clothes, hands and hair. (One of the joys of ceramic paints is that they rinse off immediately with plain water.)

I did get them done, though!

Here Alan is assembling the box. I’ll still need to apply another light coat of paint once it’s all together, and then my part will be finished.

In the next post, I’ll try to get some shots of the box and explain the design and how it will work with the fan and filters.

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