Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's With the Hole In My Yard? (Perché Un Foro Nell'erba?)

I've been somewhat preoccupied the past two weeks with contractors and making sure a swimming pool to be built around my marble sign is progressing.

It turns out that doing your own excavation with a spork is not actually a cost effective way to make a pool, even if you put one between every finger you have. And several million of those 'twisty-tie' things which keep bread bags closed is not an acceptable substitute for tied steel reinforcing bar.

So, the professionals were called. And unfortunately for me, they are moving at breakneck speed. I have several design and art related tasks yet to complete, and I seem to be approaching the critical path.

Luckily, I have had a chance to finish my marble border around my marble sign around which the pool is being built. The ledge the sign will go into is two inches depth, so I needed a good transition to the two inch thick splitfaced stone that will surround it on the wall from the one inch thick marble of the sign. If I get really brave I'll try to carve a classical pattern into the border after it is already set into the wall (with manual tools, not electric ones what with water being so conductive and all).

The 'step-spotting' mosaics will alternate between grape leaves and cups. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish enough of them prior to plastering. Any other ideas for three inch mosaic subject matter? Don't say 'Little versions of the Mona Lisa' because I tried that and it turned out sub-par.

Also, I'm kind of ticked because, if I read a quote right, one marble vendor quoted me 4,000 USD just for *delivery* of stone. I'm pretty sure I could get a whole container load from Turkey delivered to my doorstep for the highway robbery they are attempting. So the search for material continues...


  1. i love the two tiles you have already...and a sweet theme. were you going for a uniform style or anything that springs to mind?? on the subject of cups and grape leaves, I saw the Bacchae last night in Central Park.....ehhhhhhhhh

  2. That is going to be exquisite.

  3. Fie! A curse upon the heads of those stony pirates.

    Also, the translation for the plaque makes a lot more sense now that I know where it's going. And, yeah, I guess little axes wouldn't really work, would it?

  4. You can buy some nice jewelry for $4000!

  5. Can't wait to see the finished product.

    Do you make statues too? How about some naked lady statues placed around the pool area? Can't go wrong with naked ladies!

    This vendor...want me to cut um'?

  6. You're not planning on moving within the next fifty years, right Eric?!

    Appena appendere lì; il risultato finale sarà valsa la pena :)

  7. Nice.

    Maybe you should get some ideas for 3 inch mosaics from 1980s computer games. They only used a few pixels for their animations which might translate well to the mosaic.

    You could do Bruce Lee, or Wolfenstein!

    Or just do fish and crabs and that.

  8. maybe a patterny one like this?

  9. I also like The Jules's idea about fish, fish would be appropriate and probably not too hard for a master like you!

  10. That is a crazy amount of money! Hope you find something in time.

    Oh and maybe an olive branch?

  11. SSP,
    Thanks! I was thinking of enough variation that it wasn't boring, but not a different picture for each spot which might look a bit busy. And neat, Bacchae is an interesting play! Sorry to hear the performance wasn't stellar though. : )

    Peach Tart,
    Thanks, I think it will be if I can get the marble decking stone here for less than the cost of the pool itself!

    Hahaaa! Yes stone pirates are among the worst kind.
    I didn't try the little axe approach... Maybe I could have just dampened the ground and used some of those reactive metals you have videos of to help me dig?

    I could! Do you have anything for exactly $4000? ; )

    I do make faces and heads (so far). I do want to make a life sized lady statue, but I have to have the marble trucked in and forklifted to where I want it since a human sized block of marble is about 2000 lbs. / 1000kg.
    I agree, you cannot go wrong...

    Haha, it depends on how much fun I have this Fall in Italy. No, I'd probably just rent out after making a pool with a marble deck.
    Sì, penso lavoro degno? : )

    The Jules,
    !!! Original Castle Wolfenstein, it was my brother's favorite game on his Commodore 64 back in the day.
    Maybe one of those pixelated desk guards that ask you for your papers? Awesome suggestion.
    I'm not sure about fish though because the bigger fish in the pool might try to take a bite and get injured.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I'm not sure what I'm going to do, I just know I need to do them quickly. Construction is moving twice as fast as I thought and they have to be ready a day before plastering time.

    Yeah, they are very proud of their stones (even though not many construction jobs are happening these days).
    The marble for the deck is not as important on timing since I'll be doing the tile laying over cement / fracture membrane myself (but I still don't want to let it drag on for a year or something).
    Ohhh! Olive branch, that is very representational and simple.

  12. Well, you could at least make a pair of marble boobs.

  13. Wow, this is going to be amazing. Skinny-dipping pool parties at Eric's place coming up!

  14. Wow - what a massive project! And I love those stepping stones. Have you considered making pirate themed ones? ;)

  15. Another copy of a Delos mosaic would look great in your pool! Dolphins & octopuses like water, right? :) They will go great with your new pirate look.

    Have a good stone searching weekend.

  16. You, my talented friend, fascinate me. Art, sculptures, hand-crafting your own swimming pool surrounded by marble signs, crazy crazy stuff. When do I visit?

  17. Otherworldlyone,
    Well, boobs just by themselves are no good. A guy needs some context. :)


    Katrocket, : )
    It is quite the project, and kind of expensive. I don't want to glorify the stone pirates more than they already get to be, charging such outrageous prices.

    Dutch Donut Girl,
    Those are good ideas! It takes a while to make a square meter dolphin mosaic though. So much stone, so little time...

    Constructive Attitude,
    Thank you, and thanks for stopping by. I enjoy the really old looking stones and mosaics, and if you mix in a bit of gold, what's not to like?

    Thanks, you are too kind. As I said, you and four of your closest friends can drop by any time for a fry up.

  18. Do I hear "Toga Pool Party"? I thought so...

  19. I feel as if you are blogging from another planet or heaven. It does sound like it's kind of nerve wracking though. It is going to be stunning!

  20. Nikki,
    What a great idea. I need to hire a bartender and servers for the event who will wear the authentic clothes!

    You are too kind! It is a bit nerve wracking since the pool contractor messed up something yesterday that needs to be corrected (at least it buys me more time). :)

  21. I think it hit 100 here today. Get it ready quick. I'm a'comin.

  22. how the heck did i miss this post. I WANT A POOL!

    I want a gunite pool. and infinity one!

    I am jealous now, but thats ok because you are cool enough to be jealous of.

  23. LiLu, you guys are welcome here, but call first and make sure it's full of water...

    Mr. C, good call on the infinity edge aspect. I'm not on a hillside, or I would have done that for sure. I'll spend all the extra money on marble and pirate ship chartering.

  24. It is expensive to have beautiful things...hence your astronomica stone prices! Kidney stones are free, though...I doubt you want them.

    I like your pirate..when are we plundering the stone vendors?

    (You missed me)

  25. Lopez,
    No kidney stones for me, thanks.
    I did indeed miss your comments, where have you been?