Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pompeii No. 59: The Roman Grille

Dear Blogging Friends,

When I said good-bye to blogging exactly 20 months ago, I said that I'd continue to give occasional updates on the progress of the Pompeii Room. And so it's time to do that today!

You may remenber that I wanted to replace unsightly venetian blinds with the sort of bronze grille that would have been familiar to well-healed Romans. Then a most serendipitous event occured! As I was in the process of designing the grilles, an antique room divider showed up in a nearby gift shop.

When the room divider was separated into three screens, they were a near-perfect fit by width (as shown above), and would fit equally well in length with a little adjustment. Each screen would require cutting one design unit from its bottom.

That's when my brother Cliff came on board, excited by the vision, and offering to help with the use of his beautiful shop and carpentry abilities. His contribution to the completion of the Pompeii Room has been huge!

Below are images of the screens getting cut and assembled to a new length.

It certainly looks as though these screens went through a lot of wear and tear! Below, Cliff is filling some cracks and holes with epoxy.

Now it was my turn to get to work. Because I wanted to suggest bronze metal, I took several months caulking, spackling and sanding every surface for a smooth look. (Cliff wondered whether it wouldn't have been easier to build the grille from scratch, but I was very attached to the fact that a found object had appeared at just the right time.)

As you can see in the previous images, the five intersected squares are doubled on the reverse side of the screens. That meant that painting so many nooks and crannies would be tedious and time-consuming. I solved that challenge by finding a bronze-colored spray paint for those areas, and then having Sherwin-Williams match the spray paint for the rest of the job.

We spaced the screens by creating pseudo-hinges from an old broomstick. It's interesting to note that a broomstick has a harder grain than regular store-bought dowels.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.
Here is the Pommpeii Room as it appears today.
A very special thanks to Cliff,
and as always, thank you for watching.