Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A new doorway

Last fall we shared pictures of a home made door we made for our kitchen.

Well, this past fall we changed the doorway once again. The result isn't so much a new door, but a new entryway into the kitchen.

Along with the doorway, you may also have noticed that we changed the light switch. I point it out not only to open up the opportunity for me to brag about all the work it took (it took a day or two of digging and boring through the wall), but also to show how high up in the air the old light switches used to be. Yulia and I often wonder why all the light switches were placed level with an adult's forehead. To keep them out of reach of small children? To use less wire? If any readers know why, please let us know.

Although we are unsure about the old light switches, let us explain about why we made the old door and why we changed it.

We made the old doors using available materials. We have a lot of scrap wood here, so instead of buying wood and dealing with the difficulty of transporting it to our house, I thought I would recycle what we had. Our house was in much rougher shape back then, and we didn't have many places to store things like cat food and cucumbers (strangely enough, our cat, Laska, is crazy about them). We needed a door to keep the cats out whenever necessary.

I enjoyed making the door, and I learned a few things along the way (you can see some rudimentary trimming, a new concept to me at the time, on the bottom half). But since the door was very heavy and imprecisely made, it was not a long term feature for our house (if you would like to read about it, we actually wrote a blog entry at the time we made the door).

We made the arch by first making a wooden frame. We fixed two 1x2 centimeter planks at a 45 degree angle on each corner of the doorway. Then we hung two pieces of chipboard to these planks to create a mold for the clay to dry on.

We put plastic bags under the chipboard, so that it would separate easily from the clay after it dried.

After we removed the chipboard, we smoothed everything out with a layer of clay plaster and painted everything white.

Looking back on them, the pictures of the archway in progress are rough. When you're doing a project like this, it takes a bit of faith that the result will turn out alright. We've learned that this all comes with the territory. When you do it yourself, you have to learn to trust yourself and know when a job requires a little muscle and when it requires accuracy and finesse.

Yulia and I like the hand sculpted look of the archway. It helps soften the harder edges that the other materials of our house have. It's also a nod to the arched window of the old door. It only lasted us a year, but we'll always remember it!

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