The story begins after the flooding receded. The moldy walls and semi-rotted plywood remained.
Demolition began with the low-hanging areas. That way it's easier to fool yourself into thinking this is going to be a piece of cake.
Now that's what I'm talking about! Away with all the sheetrock, plywood, and the joists too! The studio is actually two rooms turned into one; the back part is an addition, which was (of course) not at the same level as the other room.
New joists and blocking installed. The miter saw got a workout, and I had some help from the International Team.
New plywood subfloor, what a remarkable improvement over no floor! The glass block windows were installed over the prior few months.
The hardwood flooring begins...
...and is completed, in early 2007. Hooray!
All insulated. Notice all that new wood on the walls? Corrective framing had to be added; the walls were all out of plumb. A new door, exhaust fan, and trim have also been added for further amusement.
New 3/4" plywood walls in place, filled, jointed, and painted. (This way I can attach things to the wall anywhere, without hunting for a stud.) Two finished walls and a floor: I call it the Corner of Normalcy as I now move on to other post-flood areas.
From one year ago, the first shopping list.
Studio rebuilding is still in progress. I just built this glass block window, which adds a pleasant amount of diffused light. Up close, the wavy pattern in the blocks has a kaleidoscopic effect.
The cypress survived the flooding, not to mention getting bent over, almost to the ground, for several months, by the far larger Golden Rain Tree. See the cypress when it was a couple years younger.
The fence was disassembled; the underlying frame was rebuilt; and the boards were remixed and re-attached. (See the original Pressure Washer drawings.)
Five months after the flood, this rooster strutted confidently across my neighbor's driveway.
Another image from before the flood.
I found it years ago, a scrawny sapling, not even as big as a walking stick. It had been hidden behind a giant hackberry tree, which fell one day, opening the space up to whippersnapper trees. It grew to a respectable 15 feet.
The plum tree reached for the sky
but the water came from below.
After the flood and debris removal,
I hoped the plum tree might have survived. But sadly, no. A few branches were used to barbecue some tasty shrimp, then the bones of the plum tree were dug up, cut up, and hauled to the curb to join the giant pile of debris there. But memories of one harvest remain.
Model Gael spent one afternoon hunting the plums.
The fruit was juicy
and the prey was devoured.
Distant clusters of fruit were pursued to the ends of the branches.
A close-up look at the marauding pressure washer, ripping and slicing through the cedar.
The Katrina Flood Line becomes the horizon line as the pressure washer roams freely over the stained cedar fence boards.
The Ancient Saber Saw arrived a short while before the water came. Time to board up; a little fine plywood slicing was needed. The ASS (hmm, acronyms) did the job via these diagrams. The water got the ASS.
This canvas had been prepared with exquisite care. Three coats of rabbit skin glue, two or three coats of oil gesso. It was lying in wait, but the waters came instead. A small portion off the top was hacked away for use on another occasion. The mold got the rest; the remains were hauled awat by a bobcat this afternoon.
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Damaged Three Bladed Fan, Oil on linen panel, 20.25 × 24.125, 2004.
This painting survived the flooding from Hurricane Katrina, although it did suffer damage. In addition to the lines of missing paint, there is some severe rot on the right-hand edge and on the back.