All the bronze is now cast and in the shop, making for a whole lot of grinding to prep for welding so that there can be, you guessed it, more grinding and welding and even metal Chase at some point.
This is last Friday’s prep work, a day of grinding and welding and grinding, in prep of welding the fish together- but before the connecting weld I have to chase all the details back in. That will now have to wait, as it will take awhile to bring all these new fish and their stream hoops to be fit to weld together.
Last week I picked up a new Argon gas canister (the last one available in the area as TIG welding isn’t common), and ordered all the stainless steel poles cut to length for mounting the fish. The poles will be ready for pick-up tomorrow, making all the parts in-house and ready for action. My masseuse worked out my somewhat trashed forearms and recommended I start wearing a tennis-elbow strap with a special pad that absorbs the tool vibration before my tendons burn day and night like Plutonium irradiation. I wore them last week for the fist time and they gave me hope that I might be able to pull this off without my hands turning to trembling little pincher-claws.
After driving to Great Falls and unloading the truck of 800lbs of art and basing into my showroom, I had just enough daylight left to get up to the ranch and open up the waterline before dark. The little truck was a champ snow-sled drift-buster up the valley, as the county hadn’t plowed the coulee. An owl hooted at me from the big pine behind the house as I post-holed back and forth ferrying gear to the house. The next day in Great Falls I spent the day in my showroom setting everything up to meet the 4pm opening, and when I headed back to the ranch for the night found that the county had plowed the road. The next night I headed back home near midnight just as a winter front settled in, creating whiteout conditions on the highway. The snowplows hadn’t gone beyond Belt, so the last six miles of highway were similar to heading up the coulee the night before. The storm blew itself out during the night and the morning was drifty, but the snowfall was only about 6 inches- making drifts that were nearly as high as the truck tires as I headed back into town spotting coyotes and eagles looking for game on the ridges.
Tonight I break the show down after things end at midnight, set up the inflatable bed for a few hours sleep, then load everything back into the truck in the morning and head up to the ranch for a quick cross-country ski and a last overnight before shutting the house down and driving back to SLC.
After spending yesterday grinding down the steel for the display/transport, clear coating it, assembling it into the truck, and having a board cut to fit at the hardware store I got thinkin’ about the fish and I thunk “Howzabout I see what it takes to assemble a fish”. Now the sun is setting and it has begun to rain, and there is a fish floating above a horse.