The first floor of our home is built with an open space design. Something that was a critical factor for the purchase.
When we are not on the island friends typically ask us to rent them the place and in those cases assuming that everyone is comfortable living doorless would be uncommon thinking.
So we're going to build a door for the master bedroom. I put my cape on, my thinking cap on, and armed with my iPad and smartpen I was on the deck looking for inspiration.
After a very solid nap, I found that I was short on inspiration, the only thing that stuck in my head was "Octopus", after that I think I blackout and I know that because I was woken up by the hidden paparazzi. Hidden but not very quiet!
I softly, like very softly, admitted defeat and I headed to the inventor of the house, I asked for ideas and he said "we live on an island, so a marine look would be cool" I knew that I was on something with the octopus! I am about to walk back to the thinking spot when he says "like a submarine door"
Why...why! He would give me the hint to unblock my thinking and then a few steps away he throws at me oil and water and ask them to mix and keep them apart for life! WHY! I had two options, go and read "how to shank your husband in the neck" or very politely ask for ADDITIONAL insights.
After ten minutes of examples, brainstorming, and other incredible suggestions it moved from a two days project to building the Sistine Chappel. To which point to escape my own destiny I said "want to do it together?"
He goes on the same thinking chair that I got sleep wasted in the company of Kauna and comes back with a design and a list of items to purchase. Lord hates smart people, you should know that.
- four 2x10x8 planks of timber (four feet wide door)
- 5 hot rolled metal plates 1/4 in thick (to keep the wood together)
- a barn door attachment kit (to make the door move)
- rustic looking nails
- laser machine
- 10" transparent acrylic
- my crafty skills and supportive services (I bill by the fraction of the hour, in cuddles or popcorns with lots of butter!)
The octopus submarine door
We joined our brains and figured to build a door that is holding in the room a gigantic Octopus that is trying to escape. Given the bedroom is the traditional venue of hunky punky it seemed the right analogy for tentacles everywhere...
I draw the tentacles using InkScape and Pixelmator. The computer guy figured out the math to slice the entire gigantic image in sections so that our laser cutter could render the drawings on the edge of the door.
I sanded on both sides the planks of wood and cut the edge of 1/4' to make the sides of the plank be closer together. We were not aiming for no seam because the overall art principle aims to enhance imperfections as ships and submarines are sturdy and simple. "Almost medieval", the nerd artist said at some point.
We joined the planks and routed a 1/4 into the wood so that the plates would sink in flush to the surface. And then secured them using lag screws. I don't want to brag but those sockets are machine perfect. I am the machine! Tsk Tsk no bragging... On the end where the lag screws come out, we welded or intentionally broke them to make them look mechanical-industrial. Then painted those particulars in gold-copperish color.
Then we installed the barn door kit attachment on the rim of the door frame and figure out the start/stop and length of the door. We could have done this by simple calculation, however, we are seasoned enough makers to know that US homes are unique in the concept of straight and inner walls support... I am happy to report that the place is one of the rarest we know as it has been built by the book!
That door is HEAVY DUTY! After we moved it a couple of times back and forth for testing and measurements I decided to disappear into the yard for a few minutes and I ran into this beauty.
Back to the deck improvised construction site, since the door is too heavy to be moved back and forth from the workshop to the house, Mario was reading comics off of his iPad. I felt guilty for flower hunting and all of a sudden I figured SIESTA! While I was on the chair enjoying the view, I realized that I had not yet purchased a critical item of the design as per the inventor's request. The bolts looking nails which technical term is clavos!
I tried so many places and surprisingly one of our followers on Instagram suggested this store. We are so pleased with the choice and suggestion. They are of great quality and design. Thank you @jobbylib74
At night, I placed the laser to line up the nails correctly but to nail them slightly offset on the head to guarantee the non-perfect look that all ships/ferry/submarines have. I spent the entire high school time and some of my adulthood, taking the ferry from Vashon Island to Seattle. I have counted every bolt on every door to kill the time. Yep, data for cellphones wasn't Europe yet in America. When I got a data plan here my brother-in-law Pasquale (aka Sweetie) was hunting porn on his Vespa for years. I was dealing with getting the Ebay home page displayed...
I woke up earlier than usually hubby pulls himself from the bed to work and I stepped out to take a look a the door. I was pleased by the work in progress!
It was time to start crafting the porthole. We laughed for a good ten minutes because neither of us could remember the proper word for the hole in the door.
I didn't capture when he made the cut for it but I distinctly remember learning new swearing words in Italian and some other made-up language. But as Bill Burr says
"it's part of the process to figure shit out"
The design of the porthole is to be filled with water, sand, and marine-looking stuff. The key principle is that when the door moves what's inside the porthole swings like water in a tank. After carefully looking at the problem we had to forgo the water because water leak is preventable with proper proofing of the surroundings but in a hot environment, the water can still evaporate (changing composition not disappearing from the space). To achieve what we wanted we would have to use an oil-based solution and didn't want to take the risk of not getting it right. To use the water we could have probably achieved it if we had a way to create a perfect vacuum. Again, doable but I was already in the midst of building the colosseum when all I wanted was to build a shark for the goats.
Next was to build the hidden marine life inside in the porthole and make it cute enough for a person standing by the door.
We put sand, and shells hanging from the top. so they would swing when the door is in motion.
Then it was time to draw and set the hatch door handle. I used an Exacto knife to draw an imperfect circle. Watercolors to create a rope-wrapped effect. I got pretty close to what I wanted but the 2D kind of ruins what I really wanted to have.
While I work on this, we have workers on-site for things that we can't do by ourselves, and in some cases, we won't because we hate the task... plumbing... I know I am married to Mario the plumber but he prefers to smash his hand into bricks rather than deal with plumbing. He can do it, I have seen him, he just doesn't like it. Not as much as he doesn't like driving, which he absolutely hates but it's not too far from that mark.
The other group of workers is building the base for Torpedo (the coolest car on the island by a popular unsolicited survey) where next month we're going to build a carport. I haven't seen the design yet by Mastro Mario Gepetto but I do expect everything out of the ordinary.
Since the dust on both ends of the house prevents me from finishing the lacking and details of the door, I am focusing on studying Italian. I have been married to an Italian for 14 years and I barely know a few sentences. However, since I am applying for citizenship now I have a motivation to pursue the training. The language is awesome, it's the studying that comes with it that I hate. You know what, it's time for a siesta, learning can wait
I hear often Mario saying that people keep asking him "where do you find the time..." and most recently a bunch of new followers has been asking the same to me. I don't have an elaborate answer like hubby does but his latest tweet on the topic fits perfectly the do-ers out there. Although I do admit that I am a do-er that believes in siestas... like a lot!
I will share the finished project on our Instagram - we're almost done and given that the moon will be back soon, a door now, if not for privacy will definitely keep the nightly sun off of my shut eyes!