Friday, September 18, 2009

Making a Splash (backsplash that is)

The little trailer is moving along. The outside is done, the inside is paneled, and the stove and counter top have arrived. I turn my attention to a backsplash around the stove area. Tile and a bumpy road -- um, no. Formica-ish stuff - super-yuck. I actually considered lining the area with some of the cast-off outer aluminum, but Pete confirmed my concern that it would oxidize and be unworkable. He suggested copper since it would look great with the birch paneling and would patina nicely. Smooth copper would be too techy-modern for me. I decided to purchase copper sheeting and beat the bejeezus out of it.

I didn't know how much work this would be.

Acquiring the sheeting was a story in itself. The man at the sheet metal store told me that yes, they had it, but "that stuff is like gold - really expensive." Furthermore, when informed of my backsplash intentions, he told me I would regret it and it would gather dust and I really should reconsider. Since the office at this place had dust piles and spiderwebs in all the corners, it seemed unlikely that he could be a compulsive duster. Hmm... I assured him that I was determined to buy copper, so he rang up my $47 worth of "just like gold". As I handed over the cash he said that business is really slow and and he might as well just go home. I left Eeyore in his dusty office and escaped with my copper.

Next came the pounding. I had naively assembled a variety of objects to pound with in hopes of creating interesting patterns. None made so much as a dent except the balpeen hammer. Okey doke - a simple hammer job should look kinda rustic and catch the light nicely.

Much, much work. Leaving the plastic coating on to avoid scratches, I wailed away at the two sheets, frequently flipping them to beat on the other side to keep them relatively flat. A sheepskin on top of a solid wood chair made a nice solid work surface with just enough give. If you try this, I recommend frequent rest periods. Despite the stiff shoulder, the effect is worth it. I'll deliver the panels for installation on Sunday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The outside is mostly done. Doesn't she look amazing?!