Tain’t The Great Wall Of China…

In a perfectly succinct example of trying to fix the symptom instead of fixing the problem, I figured the temperate weather yesterday and a dry basement was calling me to build a wee parapet around my furnace. I’m more of a procrastinator than this but I guess the time was right. First thing was getting out the old stone carving tools that haven’t been used in decades and trying to “rough up” the smooth concrete floor in the basement to give the wall some tooth to adhere to. This was extremely tedious and I found myself wishing I could go photograph some pots. Then off to the hardware store to get some hydraulic cement (or as they say in the south see’ ment). There was actually a guy at Home Depot who was wandering the cement aisle and I fell for what I usually do not. He said, “can I help you?” and I said, “you ever use this stuff?” (pointing to the bucket of hydraulic cement). He said, “a whole lot.” I never get that answer. He went on to tell me that I needed to mix it a certain way (like plaster) and that when it’s the consistency of play-doh, I’d have about 10 minutes to work with it. Yeah right… should’ve just figured it out myself. That stuff never got near play-doh consistency and went from frosting-like to I-can’t-get-it-out-of-the-bucket-like in about 25 seconds. Anyway, I ended up slatherin’ just the way I would’ve if I hadn’t talked to him. So here’s the great wall of flood protection and that ice cream dude was on there too.


Precise it isn’t… I guess I’ll give it a coat of paint where the wall hits the floor and see how it works.


Here’s another new Etsy listing that I uploaded today (1st click goes to Etsy, second enlarges pic)…




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7 Responses to “Tain’t The Great Wall Of China…”

  1. John Shirley Says:

    Hi Jim
    Another beautiful bowl. Your bowls, to my mind, posses a quiet power. Quite serene.

  2. gary Says:

    You are a mighty handy man!

  3. meredith Says:

    beep beep beep—-
    I like the ice cream truck. I have one with snoopy inside.
    The bowl is like satin, I just want to touch it!

  4. Patricia Griffin Says:

    Bowl is a beauty… so’s the Great Wall!

  5. ediot Says:

    really well done!

  6. soubriquet Says:

    I seem to recall old bricklayer lore about speeding up and slowing down cement… but I can’t remember the details. The interwebnets will have a wiki, no doubt….
    I used to use rapid-set stuff quite often, changing heaters, take the old one out, often it had a big air/flue duct, which needed to be bricked up, then the new heater, with a 4″ fanned flue outlet hung on the freshly bricked wall, a hundred pounds weight or so on cement joints less than an hour old. It’s impressive stuff, had to remember to have all the bricks ready cut, because it wouldn’t wait for you if the brick was an inch too long.
    Recently I’ve been using two-pack self-levelling flooring screed. I have a lovely bucket-shaped block of concrete with embedded trowel, because the office called me, wanted five minutes of my time… “can it wait?” No, we need you now…. “On my way”.
    What did they need me for? A debate on whether our new gate signs should have a line around them……. Half an hour later, it was decided that we’d stick with the original design. And my floor screed was um. Nicely level. In the bucket. Rock hard.
    Meanwhile the structural steel guys wanted to fit the spiral stairs… But the base wasn’t level, so it would need to be screeded.
    Sometimes my life is like a skipping needle on a record. (that simile will be meaningless to many.

    • Rae Says:

      re: skipping needle on a record – a scratched CD will do that too, and if you copy it to your ipod without noticing . . .
      Decorator’s note: A bucket-imbedded trowel makes a unique process-art doorstop, with a convenient handle. For best results, coordinate bucket style and color with your decor.

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