It’s been several years since I started the first of these boards. So far, I have 32 but six of them don’t fit the format of the rest. So I have five more to go, with my target being 30. It’s been an addictive pleasure to work on them, but it’s also been physically and emotionally demanding.
They almost always have traces of chemicals or sap that ink just bounces off. These areas have to be rubbed down without ruining the grain and pattern of the wood. I tried various materials, but the only thing that works is facial tissue. It takes forever, and I could use up to a whole box of Kleenex on one board, but it seems to smooth the board down while removing any kind of moisture from chemicals or sap.
I do this in the washroom where I have four lights up high and I can see any trace of spots that need to be done. Some people might ask, “So…you spend your evenings rubbing your wood?” To which I reply, “And boy, is it tough on the wrists and back.” And that’s before I even start to put ink to the wood.
Sometimes I start as soon as I get home from work and don’t come out of it until around 10 or 11 when I hear my stomach grumbling because I haven’t had supper. I’ve started eating larger lunches, but I’ve still lost over 20 pounds from lack of everything that I can’t coat with ink and wine.
Sometimes I’m quietly impressed by the way the wood grain suddenly bubbles to the surface when I stain the boards with red wine, but this weekend at the studio I was amazed at the grains and patterns that emerged when I put the urethane coating on them.
Next step is to paint the edges black and then they’ll be ready for their photo session. I was thinking about taking them around the city and doing portraits of them sitting on park benches, in chairs at coffee shops, on the beach, in the passenger seat of my Soul. I’d like to put together a free photo book in Spark along with info on where they can be purchased (probably Saatchi).
Just five more and I can get back whatever life I had before this project began. Let me see now…oh right…watch an entire movie from start till finish instead of in 15 minute segments. And maybe a glass of wine will be left over from the boards.