Tuesday, October 4, 2011

train table

I got a great home-made train table from my cousin -- her boyfriend had built it years ago, and their kids weren't playing with it much anymore. I was running around like a mad-woman in the days before our move, but I'd been wanting a table for the kids for ages, so even though Jason was at the point of "LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF, oh my god how do we have so much stuff?" I was happy to go pick it up and load it into the moving truck.

Once we were moved in and more or less set up, I hauled out my collage materials and dove in. It felt really good to have a project -- it had been about a month, the point at which I start getting a little itchy.

I don't have a good "before" shot, but you can see that it was white with your standard green-grass-blue-water-gray-rocks motif:

I pasted a bunch of different paper on it, including some cool topo-maps and Japanese train time-tables -- so, abstract but having a little something to do with land and trains:

Here, a rare shot of the artist at work (well, the artist's backside, anyway, along with loyal side-kick in underpants):

Auden was very helpful with the gluing part, but in general does not have patience for these kinds of projects. Specifically, the part where he's not allowed to play on it yet:


 Look out Sir Bevis, a T-Rex and a giant sloth behind you!

Next I did a layer of paint, sticking with quiet colors -- "desert hues" as Jason calls them. I added a few more scraps of paper, and a cool stencil that I'd made years ago from the shadow my plant cast on the wall:

And then there was another break in production to test out the surface. Suitable for cars and trucks:

It was interesting to work on this surface, because it's big like a painting, but is horizontal and doesn't have a top or bottom. The composition needed to be balanced but not too focused. I added some paper circles, and some curved lines in paint to create some more geometrical shapes, and that felt just right:

Then I painted the sides and the legs a dark honey-brown color, and then sealed it all with polyurethane. I wanted the whole table to blend in with our furniture and not scream PLAYROOM like the original paint job was doing. Besides, white gets so dirty, and this way you can't see all the paw-prints from the many beasties who come to play.

And play they do. It may be the single best investment I've made, for how much use it gets (although, I should point out, the only thing they DON'T do on it is build train tracks):

 Here's the finished table, in our front parlor:

 Now, carry on with your mock-battles and lego dismemberment:



Anonymous said...

Another priceless Auden expression. Beautiful work, beautiful writing, beautiful art, beautiful little boy. Too bad you can't see the tears in Bama and Nana's eyes. Jan

Anonymous said...

I love the shots of all the 'guys'! Awesome job Robin - you've created a wonderful keepsake!