Monday, January 14, 2008

Stepping Back in Time

I did some time-traveling today. It seemed like it anyway. First I perforated a pattern for a sign I had to paint later. See I'm a sign painter. Sort of. Well used to be. I guess I still am. Nobody in their right mind paints signs anymore; they're all vinyl. But way back in the dark ages I learned to be a sign painter (sign writer for my UK readers). And every now and then someone insists on a hand painted sign. Which brings me back to today's story.

That tool has a little pokie wheel that actually punches holes in the paper. We have an electric perforator which is a lot faster, but when we got our new computerized telephone system about 10 years ago, we realized the perforator really messes it up, so we can't use it anymore. So I put the pattern over some shipping foam and traced over the letters that I had the computer draw for me. In the old days I would have drawn them by hand too, but now we have the computer do that. Then I gathered my materials: paint, brushes, pounce bag, rags, thinner, lard oil, palettes. And off I went.

Even driving to the boat was a step back in time. When I was a kid my family used to drive this road about once a month to visit my grandparents. It goes through the delta area of California's Central Valley. It's a maze of rivers, sloughs, and irrigation ditches. Acres and acres of land are farmed here in corn, tomatoes, beans, and my favorite: asparagus. In fact, California grows the BEST asparagus in the world. Something to do with the peat soil. But all that water makes it very foggy in the winter. And today was no different.

Click on this photo to see what it looked like along Trapper Slough. You want to be real careful along here. One little "oops" and you'd be in the slough. I remember one night coming home from my grandparent's house it was sooooo foggy, my dad had to roll the window down, hang his head out and practically feel his way along the line in the middle of the road.

When I arrived at the boat yard they showed me the boat...
....and gave me this to stand on.
Hey, it's not all easy street out there, you know. The styrofoam blocks were a little wobbly, and it was cold in that open metal building, but I got it done. Here's what it looked like.

If I'd done it in vinyl it would have looked just the same only better, and been cheaper and faster. But the customer got what he wanted and that's what's important.

The job went well, the customer was happy, we got paid, I enjoyed my bit of time-traveling, and the fog had lifted quite a bit when I left for home. Hey, maybe I was on easy street after all.

1 comment:

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

What a charming blog you have here. So sorry to hear you have this thyroid condition.

Btw, have the same wellies at my back door.

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy