Friday, September 11, 2009

What? I Can't Hear Because of Water In My Ears (Che Cosa? Acqua Della Piscina è Nelle Orecchie)

One of the following photos is a picture of part of my pool.
Is it:




Does anyone know what all the above pools are? Any of them? Bueller? Bueller?
If you guessed 'D' you are not incorrect. At least you get a sense of how the custom gold mosaics shine in the sunlight.

Apologies for no complete pictures yet, but I've been busy swimming, landscaping, and stuff so I haven't had time to take a proper photo.

I've been planting authentic Cupressus Sempervirens (Italian cypress) along the fencelines. When I started digging the first hole in the mid-afternoon, I said to myself, 'Self, I'll surely have these six trees planted before dark.' Well that was before the spade I was using made a scraping sound across the bottom of the hole.

I thought for sure that I had found some old Civil War era treasure chest, or at least some 180 year old canned goods or something useful. But, no such luck, it was a rock-like clay that I can probably best describe as shale. You have heard of the Earth's crust? Well I had found one of the crunchier sections of it. I saw this as a good opportunity to drag out my ten pound sledge hammer and a crowbar (and even some goggles to shield the eyes from the flying rock chips). Does anyone else type 'Googles' when trying to type 'goggles'? Luckily, this strata of geological botanical prophylactism was easily pierced and the trees were quickly planted.

Some genuine gold leaf is now on order for the gilding of my carved sign letters, but not before I'll be painting an authentic cinnabar (red mercuric sulfide) and linseed oil primer to make the gold leaf shine.
Maybe you are contemplating the fancying up of a garden gnome or plastic flamingo outdoors? If that's the case, you should use genuine gold leaf. Typical gilding leaf found in stores in the US is what they call 'Dutch Metal', which will corrode when exposed to the weather (no offense Dutch Donut Girl).
You can also buy a variety of gold leaf that is called 'double', which is ironically only 10% thicker than regular gold leaf, but will last for a very long time. I guess there is something to the expression 'Giving 110%'.
I wonder what cheap pikey fellow came up with 'double' to describe +10% where gold is concerned?

Also on my mind lately are recreations of ancient couches with outdoor cushions. I'm working on carving couch legs (I'll need 12 of them for three couches).
The bronze they'll be cast in will need to be around 3mm thick according to UK sculpture expert Ailsa Magnus (check out her enormous iron balls).
That much bronze will still be fairly heavy for 16" tall legs with a 1.5" diameter and cross supports for the wood I'm going to connect it to. The endgame with the couches is to have three in a 'U' shape, which is a classical 'Triclinium'. The triclinium was how dining went down 2000 years ago, but I'll probably just put a fire pit on a mosaic pavement and have everyone drink wine there.

Have a great weekend and I'll really be posting more complete pictures soon (seriously, really, I promise).

Riuscite a indovinare l'immagine della mia piscina?
C'è una foto di tre divani voglio fare (triclinium antiche)


  1. Hahaha, oh I hope it's the TOP PIC! :) Seriously though, it's looking good. How long till completion? And when's the pool party?

  2. No offense taken :-)

    Those custom gold mosaics look sparkly and pretty. Or should I use more masculine words? Jeez, those custom gold mosaics are neat! Is that better? Ahum, moving on…

    Planting, digging, gilding, painting, carving and posting, right? That’s it??? People are so lazy these days ;)

    Have a good weekend!

  3. I hate you, okay I don't hate you but I am totally jealous. I wish my backyard was big enough for a swimming pool.

  4. Ahhhh, I thought it was obviously A ;)
    I planted bulbs in my garden a few months ago and due to technical errors (I plead the Fifth) had to find and dig up all of the 20 something already planted ones and do it all over again. After that episode I got a landscaper to do the rest of my garden. If I wanted a green thumb, I'd consult the Hulk. Have a lovely weekend :)

  5. More garden gnomes should be gilded. Definitely. Not gelded. That would be mean.

  6. It's a good thing I don't have a lawn, because I would totes COVER it with flamingos. Guilty pleasure... but I freaking love those things.

  7. You know, if I ever did any outdoor labor, I could probably appreciate your efforts more. As it is, the only thing I ever work on is my tan.

    So if you're looking for a lawn ornament or a couch ornament to decorate your new pool area...look no further!

    Hope you had a nice weekend. ;)

  8. I can't believe you have not posted a pool picture...

    can not believe.

    i want to go FLAMINGO someone's yard...that would be FUN

  9. I'd like some custom gold mosaics for my spectacles. You free?

  10. nice. I have a gold ceiling in our master bedroom. I remember the artist doing something with a base coat of red, and we thought she was nuts.. she used a really thick brush and short strokes, so you can see the brush strokes going different ways. I'd take any pool but I've always been partial to ones with fancy lounge chairs - those are going to be amazing. Maybe someday I can just get a lounge chair :)

  11. In my opinion you can't go wrong with pink flamingo ornaments.

  12. I will pass on the flamingos..but oh, those pool pics! LOVE THEM.

  13. Wow... you must be very handy to have around the house... building furniture, landscaping, flamingo art? Is there anything you can't do?

  14. I am jealous of not only your pool, but your abilities. I thought you had to be a James Bond villain to have a gold plated pool.

  15. All, the picture 'answers' are:
    A) The pool at Hearst Castle in California
    B) The pool at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas
    C) The world's largest pool in San Alfonso del Mar, Chile (it is 1km in length!)
    D) My pool steps before full, but obviously after plastering.

    Vegetable 149,
    Oh it's done and I've already had some parties, oh you must mean parties to which you are invited... Sorry it takes a while for those of us with less than a 149 Stanford Benet metric to follow you sometimes. :)

    Dutch Donut Girl,
    Yes, neat, not pretty...
    I have been a bit lazy lately, I need another hobby. Hope yours was great, it's almost time for the next one.

    They can engineer some pretty small pools these days, are you sure the yard is too small?

    My seeds for the additional cypress trees arrived yesterday. I can't wait to start an Italian Cypress tree farm in the extra backyard space.

    Gelded would be very wrong... Looking for a coin match today, is 16mm a good size for the bases you've seen?

    I hope they would be gold covered!

    Couch ornaments are nice.
    Hope yours was better than it sounds like your week is going.

    Would you hang the flamingos from trees?

    Sure, you want the gold mosaic parts on just the frames, right?

    The red underneath really does make a difference. I tried a bit of it yesterday!

    Agreed, unfortunately the 'Homeowner's associations' don't always think so.

    You mean like the drink, Vegas dancer girl, a live animal, or the lawn ornament kind?

    Thanks, I wish mine looked like the Hearst Castle one.

    I'm currently having trouble engineering plastic resin mixture for parts I'm making with a heated hydraulic press. Do you know any mechanical or plastic engineers?

    Uh oh, you are on to me...


  16. I might be able to fit in an inflatable kiddie pool. That's about it.

  17. I feel as though after a few margaritas...I'd be on the bottom of the pool wondering what the shiny things were. Looks good!

  18. Yeah your pool is done! And now I want to gild 50 lawn flamingos and put them in my yard.

    I am super excited to see your work on your couches! Oh and Ailsa's balls are awesome!

  19. Otherworldlyone,
    Sounds like despite some letdowns, the weekend wedding turned out fun overall.

    It could be a blinged out super spa inflatable though, right?

    Thanks! Haha, I have inadvertently created an inebriated adult hazard luring the unwary to a blingy chlorine watery filled death.

    I'll get started on the flamingos... The couches will be fun. I'm trying to decide if I want to make more than three and try to sell some at the museum. Hey, I picked up an awesome book by Christine Kondoleon on the ancient materials used in the Antioch mosaics. I was refered by a curator who specializes in materials at the Boston MFA who worked with her on the book. It's special because they did spectrography on the tesserae materials, so now I have indirect recipies for authentic glass mosaic materials from 2000 years ago! I need to buy the materials and get some stuff ready to hire someone to melt it all down into 'tortillas' I guess they call them...

  20. Oh wow- I am so jealous. I'm back in school now and it is so stressful I can get anything fun done. So the method to make then is to roll out the glass and then cut it when cool? That's really awesome.. would be more authentic and more fun than casting the glass into molds.

  21. Hi...
    Swimming Pool is looking so impressive here. If you like doing laps in the swimming pool, you might want to stock up on the energy drinks before diving in to this one.