12/28/09

floored



famous first words 'ya know, its pretty hard to fuck up a cork floor'. this was what dan said to me as i prepared to work on the cork floor for the first time last week. i did just a little and scuttled home. it was draining physically and mentally as i looked at his perfect curvatures of cork like tiny lifeboats lined up one after the other. perfectly.

then i went back and worked solo and oblivious to what lie ahead. happily nailing with the nail gun piece after piece. dan wanted every now and then for us to put a colored cork as a marker of sorts whereby we then put a clump of 'dated' corks. see a colored cork, go to it and there a small mass of same year corks reside. nice. how hard could that be?

the thing is, when you do something over and over and you aren't that familiar with it you are bound to fuck up. and knowing that its pretty hard to fuck up something makes those fuck ups all the more stressful. the fuck ups can also be culled into the dionysian category as long as it isn't terminal. dionysian meaning it aint perfect but it works. dan loves dionysian when appropriate and leaves the apollonian aspect to plumbing/wiring/foundation and structural aspects. the other stuff....there is room for imperfection. all i can say is thank the god on that one or else its time to move on and not even bother learning anything about home building.

so i had a good day that 2nd day. fingers were numb from pushing in/down on each cork as i nailed it to get it as tight as possible next to the others. you get the feel for it and after awhile a small bit of confidence comes. slather some adhesive stuff on the floor, pick corks, dan likes to call it 'interviewing the cork', and then place it down and nail that puppy in. tod had worked on the cork floor too and by the time our area ran into his area a bottleneck was in full swing. you can see in the first photo on the left that some finesse was called for as corks weren't fitting anymore and needed to be cut and shaped. the lines were not meeting up. dan said this was fine and expected as much, i couldn't help but to hear fuckup fuckup fuckup. i also noticed that some of the nails were sticking up a bit. they were too angled and not really flush. at times nothing was fitting or working and i found myself prying the corks out but the nails couldn't come out as they had no head. it felt like some mini disaster just waiting to explode. i realized i could push a cork over the nail and redo it. it was messy. i had white creamy adhesive junk all over my hands and the hammer. frantically hammering the corks over the nail or pounding the hell out of the nail and laying it flat. its embarrassing to recall. i just kept hoping no one would drop by and see me trying to save the floor.

then the colored corks and same year dates.....guess who put all 1990's in but also a 2000? that would be ME. how hard is it anyhow paula? i mean REALLY???!!!! it scares me some. i know that i never do anything right. ever. EVER. its exhausting. but i keep trying and keep willing to risk utter embarrassment and ruination of anything that i touch.

yesterday dan was there and said he sharpened the pocket knife so dont cut yourself. the minute he said that i knew i would cut myself. and i did. thats why i like to go there on weekends when few people are around. its embarrassing how moronic i can be around the simplest of commands. if you tell me to do something i wont be able to and if you tell me NOT to do something, well its as good as done.

so. i worked my fingers to the bone this weekend almost finishing the floor. i couldn't bring myself to go there today. i was beat up yesterday. dan says he likes the floor. he walks in and takes it all in and makes delightful sounds, saying isn't this wonderful. he loves those floors. he created them. the whole process. its amazing. i look forward to WATCHING next week when it comes time to grout and then finish them with a resin. not sure i should actually partake in that, i might end up permanently embedding myself or something.

15 comments:

Colleen Kole said...

No way is this bad like you think it is . This is an amazing piece of art. I am figuring out if it is uncomfortable to you, you don't like the outcome- this is way too cool not to like.

Ellen said...

You're way too hard on yourself, it's awesome! Uniformity is boring, I like the curves stopping and starting. It's a good mistake.

paula said...

thanks guys. i guess i know now in hindsight i would have merged it more to a 'tail tip' or something instead of a blunt wall of stoppage.
i can see how one could get really intricate with pattern and design and would love a chance to try without 'pressure'. is that possible ya think?

Mary said...

Isn't that always the process? Do something, think of another way of doing it, try again . . .

Mary said...

From Robert Genn's newsletter this morning, quoting Garrison Keillor: "There's no mastery to be had. You love the attempt. You don't master a story any more than you master a river. You feel lucky to canoe down it."
BTW, I love the cork patterns.

paula said...

thanks for sharing that quote..good reminder! and the feedback i appreciate too mary.

Chris said...

This floor is awsome. What a great idea. Yo, I make mistakes on everything I do. Everything. It really is stressful, but I'm the sort of person who cannot bear to take things apart and do them over. I figure some way to cover the error, or just make it work. I have this idea that I will know better next time. I should be mistake free by now. HA! Keep on truckin', mama.

Daphne Enns said...

Paula the floor is amazing and it wouldn't have happened if you weren't volunteering your time and labor. Who could afford such a piece of art.

And you know what? One day someone is going to discover the 2000 cork mixed in with another decade and feel like they've discovered a lost treasure.

Lisa said...

Very cool floor!

And I'm thinking you could call it performance art if you want to seal yourself to the floor. Maybe sell tickets, get famous :):)

Kim Hambric said...

You haven't nail gunned yourself, have you? That's something I would have done.

I recall one time telling my husband that it is possible to sew over one's finger with a sewing machine. He said that only an idiot would do that. Makes me an idiot I guess.

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

paula said...

I like the floor...i saw it yesterday its completely done and looks cool, no longer looks like i screwed it up...its still not done, it will change rather drastically with the grout and resin.
kim you cracked me up....i would have done that with a sewing machine FOR SURE. the only thing keeping me from nail gunning my hand is concentrating on NOT doing it every single time i hit the trigger.
lisa...always an angle on even the worst, thats good!
daphne...i think you might be right about that. they will wonder wont they?

andrea said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing how it changes. And I wish it was in my house!

paula said...

well start drinking and you too can have one ;)

ArtPropelled said...

Oh wow! WOW! I've just looked at the close up photos and I love this!You've done an amazing job with the floor Paula.
Dan sounds like such an interesting person. You must be picking up all sorts of tips that will help you in your own art..... or even the scrap yard wall.

paula said...

not sure yet robyn...what i'm learning. i think i'm taking it in slowly and getting bits and pieces. glad you like the floor...dan started it with that big cool curve, set the whole thing in motion.