Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pompeii No. 59: The Roman Grille


Dear Blogging Friends,

When I said good-bye to blogging exactly 20 months ago, I said that I'd continue to give occasional updates on the progress of the Pompeii Room. And so it's time to do that today!


You may remenber that I wanted to replace unsightly venetian blinds with the sort of bronze grille that would have been familiar to well-healed Romans. Then a most serendipitous event occured! As I was in the process of designing the grilles, an antique room divider showed up in a nearby gift shop.

When the room divider was separated into three screens, they were a near-perfect fit by width (as shown above), and would fit equally well in length with a little adjustment. Each screen would require cutting one design unit from its bottom.


That's when my brother Cliff came on board, excited by the vision, and offering to help with the use of his beautiful shop and carpentry abilities. His contribution to the completion of the Pompeii Room has been huge!

Below are images of the screens getting cut and assembled to a new length.




It certainly looks as though these screens went through a lot of wear and tear! Below, Cliff is filling some cracks and holes with epoxy.


Now it was my turn to get to work. Because I wanted to suggest bronze metal, I took several months caulking, spackling and sanding every surface for a smooth look. (Cliff wondered whether it wouldn't have been easier to build the grille from scratch, but I was very attached to the fact that a found object had appeared at just the right time.)


As you can see in the previous images, the five intersected squares are doubled on the reverse side of the screens. That meant that painting so many nooks and crannies would be tedious and time-consuming. I solved that challenge by finding a bronze-colored spray paint for those areas, and then having Sherwin-Williams match the spray paint for the rest of the job.


We spaced the screens by creating pseudo-hinges from an old broomstick. It's interesting to note that a broomstick has a harder grain than regular store-bought dowels.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.
Here is the Pommpeii Room as it appears today.
A very special thanks to Cliff,
and as always, thank you for watching.


17 comments:

  1. Oh that's great -and so nice to hear from you (here) again!!! Love that these are found and all of the memories you created with your brother putting these together. I can only imagine the amount of work patching though - ugh! Looks like it was well worth the effort.

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    1. Hi, Stephan! Long time, no see!

      I actually started patching and smoothing those screens about a year ago, but the Florida summers are so humid that I took a long hiatus in the middle of the project. Then it was a race to finish before this coming summer!

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  2. Hello Mark, and how happy I am to see this update. Talk about serendipity! That screen, with your and your brother's hard labor added, really completes the room, and takes us back to antiquity. Another Ruffnerian triumph! I can perfectly understand the desire to rebuild the old divider--it will have the aura of all antique or vintage objects.

    I really like the addition of the bronze to the rest of the color palette of the room.
    --Jim

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    1. Hi, Jim — it's always a pleasure to hear from you!

      I'm glad you like the bronze color. I really put a lot of thought into whether or not the grille should have a faux patina. In the end, I decided that since the walls were not distressed, the grille shouldn't be, either.

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  3. What a coincidence - I was wondering about this blog and reading the backlog only yesterday.

    The room looks wonderful, and I love the pseudo-hinges.

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    1. Hi, Ana,

      I'm glad you enjoyed the pseudo-hinges because they're my favorite part of the project. And by putting them on the screens as spacers, they allow extra light to come into a room that doesn't get direct sunlight.

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  4. Hello Mark, There you are! Great to hear from you. Your hard work paid off. Your bronze grilles work beautifully with the rest of your Pompeiian designs. Take care, dear friend.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Gina! Slowly but surely I'm tying up the loose ends of a zillion projects!

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  5. Beautiful serendipity finding those grilles How lucky you are to have a talented woodworker for a brother. It seems artistry runs in your family. Thank you for the update, I have truly enjoyed reading your essays on the progress of the Pompeiian designs, it was so nice to hear from you again.

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    1. Hello, Dallas,

      Thank you for following along through the process, and for commenting. Now the Pompeii Room is truly completed, with the possible exception of adding an appropriate table.

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  6. Dear Mark,
    It is so nice to see a new post from you. Your Pompeiian room looks fantastic! I have enjoyed reading your posts on the progress of this project. Sitting in that space would surely require the purchase of a toga?
    Bye for now,
    Kirk

    PS
    You are always welcome to stop by at my blog anytime.

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    1. Dear Kirk,

      You are not the first to suggest that I should have a toga! Thanks for having watched the room's progress all along. It's good to see you back on the blogosphere, and I will visit.

      Mark

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    2. I'm pleased to read that you will continue to stroll about the blogging world. There will be cake!

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  7. Hurrah Mark is blogging again! I am so excited to see your finished space!

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    1. Dear Lynne,

      Thanks for following along through it all! The grille really does make the space feel complete — and there aren't any Mt. Etnas nearby to undo it!

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  8. Hello Mark. Welcome back. I miss All Things Ruffnerian. It's a pleasure to hear another great story from you and see photos from heart and home. Please tell me you will continue to blog again. Please. Each time you open your door and invite us in, we are never the same again.

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    1. Hello, Mrs. D.!

      Thank you for your very generous comment.

      I can't promise that I'll be blogging on a regular basis, but I will update progress in the house from time to time. And as someone who has restored a house from top to bottom, you know that takes time and sweat equity!!

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