We've been pushing along with the cedar shingles as the weather and increasingly early evenings are allowing. Now we are up to the window sills, there have been some small but important finishing off jobs to do, like sealing around the gothic window with bitumen tape - it looks like lead flashing. Glyn warmed the tape with a heat gun for a good seal and shaped around the top of the window with short pieces of tape. Fiddly but worth it. The shingles will go right up to the metal weather strip he made out of aluminium section - Homebase had reduced all their 1 metre metal strips to £1 in the summer sale. Good for us. It gives a little extra rain protection around the window.
The rows of shingles are starting to build up nicely.
This is a good opportunity to use up shingles with uneven or damaged top edges, cutting them down to fit under the windows.
We bought hardwood sills to go at the bottom of the windows and will add them soon, probably doing all the windows in one go. As the bottom of the gothic window is a lot lower than the two small side windows, it will have to wait.
The shingles immediately on either side of the window sills have been cut into L and reverse L shapes. Because the cedar splits very easily, the cut across the grain has to be done first.
It takes Glyn longer to scrape down and nail on the shingles than it does for me to do the initial cleaning (with a stiff nylonbrush) and follow up with the paint, so on Saturday and Sunday I did some batch cooking for the freezer in between summerhouse work - bolognese, curry and casserole. Sunday brunch was a 'Mediterranean feast' - olives, tomatoes and felafel, with minted lamb, couscous and aubergine - made with the leftovers from Saturday's dinner (there was way too much lamb!) So we have been eating well while working.
On Sunday, I started work on the onigawara roof tiles for the ends of the roof ridge. I looked at tiles when I was in Yuza, but they are very large and heavy items to bring back, in ceramic. The metal kind would have been OK, but they aren't used much in Shonai it seems. There's more about onigawara on this earlier blog post. I liked this one I saw on Yahoo! Japan Auctions, made in plastic, and used it as the inspiration for my smaller and simplified design.
I needed a large 'rolling pin' to make the clay slabs, so Glyn smoothed off the edges from an offcut of scaffolding pole.
The paper design. I only have one copy and ended up having to back it with rows of parcel tape to stop the clay making it too wet.
I'm using a gritty sculpture clay from Scarva - Earthstone Professional Black Textured. The tiles will go black when fired and I won't be glazing them. The slab is rolled to approx 1cm thick. I had thought about sculpting a model, making a plaster mould and slipcasting them, but since we only need two it seemed just as easy to sculpt each one individually, working with a combination of slabs and coil building.
I couldn't find any of my sculpting tools so improvised with a table knife. The slabs are drying to leather hardness in between slabs of plasterboard before I start building up the backs and bases. The front decoration will be done last. These are my main project for the current pottery evening class.
Back to the shingles. Several still have their 'MADE IN CANADA' stamp on the back.
Shame these are all being painted over.
This was just before our stopping point yesterday - up to sill level on the side windows. It seems to be going quickly now.
We've been lucky with the weather this weekend, as it hasn't been as wet or as windy as the weather forecast predicted.