Monday, April 11, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Tiling

I've tiled floors, counter tops, patios. All of them horizontal, with gravity working as a silent partner. Dumb gravity, happy to hold your tile just so.

When tiling on the wall, however, gravity becomes a more active partner, eager to rearrange tiles when you aren't looking. And on the ceiling, gravity becomes your enemy--I don't want to think about the ceiling yet.

Each bucket of mortar that I mix is either a little too runny or too hard--I can't seem to get a perfect batch, something that is often referred to as a peanut-butter consistency.

Today I'm going to get scientific about it instead of just adding more water, then more mortar, then more water, etc. I'm going to develop a formula, and I'm determined to mix up a perfect batch.

Yesterday I tiled the wall behind the toilet, and I experimented with an approach that might be called stream of consciousness. Knowing that these handmade tiles cannot be and will not be aligned perfectly, I set out to blank out my mind and let the tiles place themselves free from my constant worrying and micro-managing and placement planning. And this was working very nicely until I ran out of mortar and had to mix some more, and I got irritated when I mixed much more mortar than I needed, and then I returned to tiling, annoyed with myself and trying to get back into the zone when a perfect storm of bad luck put the wrong set of tiles together in the top 2 rows (which I have since removed).

So I won't be using the tile meditation approach any more. Tiling requires some degree of mental attention. The yogis like to say, An active mind is a sick mind. Well, don't let a yogi tile your bathroom.

Today I start tiling the sink.

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