I knew there was one potential flaw to moving the airbrush station to the garage. The garage had the space, but it wasn’t heated. I’d been really optimistic that my high-powered space heater would keep the area useable in the winter. What I hadn’t counted on was the unseasonably cold weather we’ve been having. Even with the heater running, the workspace out there has barely gotten above 40 degrees most days this week.

I decided this was nature’s way of telling me that it was time to clean greenware. It’s not the most glamorous part of ceramic production, but at least it can be done in my warm studio!

It’s probably just as well, since the spray booth has been taken over by the guys and their Pinewood Derby project. It’s probably not obvious from the picture, but this year’s car is going to be shaped like a giant red Lego block. Thankfully Alan wrapped the booth with newspaper, or I’d be doing the rest of my painting (when it finally gets warm enough again) in a glossy red booth.

We really needed the spray booth a few years ago, when my older son was working on both his Science Fair project and his Pinewood Derby car. His experiment involved finding out if crickets, which are apparently omnivores like people, lived longer on a balanced diet of healthy food or soda and pizza. (For my friends who are parents, you don’t really want to know the answer…) Since I am notoriously bug phobic, I insisted that the crickets live in the garage. Brandon and his father built an elaborate plexiglass enclosure for the two groups, and set it up in the corner of the garage. Unfortunately, it was the same garage where we’d later spray paint the Derby car. I can report that while crickets actually do quite well on pizza, they aren’t at all compatible with spray paint fumes. Every last one of them was belly-up within the hour! It wasn’t a sight to give anyone a lot of confidence about breathing the smelly stuff.

It did make me happy, though, to see that there was almost no smell this time around. I wasn’t willing to bring in any test crickets to be sure, but it did seem that the only odor was coming from the paint on the car itself. Surely that must mean the booth is working for me, too.


3 Responses to Brrrrrr!

  1. Laura Dotson-Thomson January 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Ahhh, pinewood derby days. I remember my brother and dad (both still very active in scouting even though my brother is no longer a scout) would sit for hours sanding, cutting, etc. They weren’t as bad as my uncle though, who apparently when he helped my cousin would sit for days finding out the right weight balance and aerodynamics for their cars, hehehe. I like the lego block idea. I think I’d have to go with a bobsled this year in honor of the olympics coming up.

  2. Danielle Feldman January 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Lego pinewood derby car – very fun!

    Interesting note about fumes and crickets. I now get a headache immediately after one whiff of spray fixatives. Don’t know if I could ever get enough buy in at my house to build a spray booth, though. Guess, I’ll have to don my mask and take it outside per usual. Lucky you!

  3. Lesli Kathman January 11, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    Laura, your uncle would have liked my son’s Science Fair project. He figured out the optimum placement of the weight on a Pinewood Derby car. So it’s been all race cars, all the time, here at the house lately! 🙂

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