Floor planks moved for better drying

As planned, and as I told in the last blogpost, we were to move the floor planks from our workshop barrack to another location. We chose to move them to our “lecture room” where we have a higher temperature  than the workshop. This was done in order for the egg oil tempera lasures to dry. The “moving” was accomplished the other day and this is how it looked:



Lärkan and Erik was carrying the sticky and oily floor planks, one by one, from the workshop over the tiny “piazza” to the lecture room where we had prepared chairs and a bookshelf and other devices to be able to fit them in and still be able to use the room:



They all got positioned in the room with a bit higher temperature, and here they will be laying for a while to dry properly before we can place them in their future position together forming the floor in the chapel. We have not decided yet whether we will paint them a third time or not. We decided to wait and take the decision later.

In the afternoons when I  visit the chapel it often looks like this in the waining sun:



As You see the ladder that we used to bring the cupola up several weeks ago, is still there, also the scaffolding. That is because we are still waiting for some small windowsills from the tinsmith in the close by village. He has not jet have the time to produce the tiny metal windowsills we want to place at the bottom of  the eight windows constituting the lantern. As soon as we get those windowsills and can put them in place we can take the ladder down.


Wooden floor in progress

My husband and Karim, who is on internship with us, has been doing a good job, measuring and having sawed all planks for the future oval floor. Since the whole house is “organic” there are almost no “regular” measures, no straight angles and very little of symmetry. 



Then we carried all the numbered and marked pieces of planks into a workshop and Eric, who is also on an internship with us, and I started to sand all the planks.


Then we mixed the egg oil tempera…


… and applied it:



The first layer dried quite all right so after less than a week we could apply the second layer:


We so did, but then the temperature fell. Expected, of course, since we are in the middle of January and it has been a rather unusual winter with not so much of snow so far. So now, finally the snow that has been missing since november started to fall. It is beautiful, and nice in many ways:



The photo above is taken after just the beginning of snowfalls. But the falling temperature makes some tasks harder, for example now it is too cold in the workshop barrack for the paint to dry…  we have a fan and some warmth there. But it dries very badly, the flax seed oil does not “sink into” the wooden planks… today I got the advice from my “egg-oil-tempera mentor “Nillan”, to move the planks to a warmer place in order for them to dry. So tomorrow we will try to “transfer” all the sticky planks into another location. They have to dry well, and it might be that we will paint them even once more before putting them in place.

Of course we awaited the “green light” from his Eminence Metropolitan Cyprian before finishing the construction of beams to carry the floor. We thankfully received answer from him about the measurements in the tiny chapel. The Sanctuarium will become minimal. But it will have room enough for a priest to (with some problems maybe, but still) be able to prepare everything during a Divine Liturgy. We also got the blessing for the measurements of the future iconostasis. So now that we have got clearance we can go on and lay the floor – as soon as it is dry and totally prepared – and after that slowly but steadily we hope to move on to building the iconostasis. 

Oh, I long for the day when the chapel is ready, but already now, I love the little chapel that helps me in my everyday life: We are so happy to be able to bring thanks to St. Joseph who was a righteous man, a lowly carpenter that was entrusted to be betrothed to Theotokos Maria, the Mother of God. St Joseph that during the upbringing of Jesus Christ was the caretaker and provider of his needs. This Saint, Joseph, we venerate of many reasons. And it brings us joy in our hearts to be able to thank him in this way, building a chapel to express our thankfulness and our wish to be as close to our Lord Jesus Christ as St. Joseph was for many years… being family with Jesus Christ. 

Preparing for a wooden floor

Some days ago my husband got started preparing for a wooden floor in the little chapel. He started by using the beams that were taken down recently. They were just the right thickness to carry the future floor. We have had many discussions about this floor, between the two of us, and also and with several other persons. Of course in many southern countries, and not the least in many churches and chapels, the floors are often created out of tiles or stone, those floors may be easier to keep clean than a wooden floor that can become scratched from gravel under the soles of shoes. But, the sensation of a wooden floor is warmer than that of a stone or tiled floor. And we have decided to cling to our vision of a wooden floor even thought it might become scratched…

Here is a picture of Lärkan some days ago starting to take measures of the joists to put floorboards on, and starting to put them in position.


Also a few days ago he went with the trailer to get the floorboards of pinewood from a local lumberyard:


Here we have stored many of them standing up in the tiny entrance room of the chapel:


Today we had help from the two persons that are now on internship with us. Here Eric is preparing the edges of the frame, not actually insulating for warmth, but rather taking away some draft, and also preparing for the frames not to become too much of a  “sound box” that would reinforce footstep noise.



At the same time Lärkan and Karim was finishing the work with the frames, also putting tarmac paper between the concrete floor and the wood – precautions that always should be done between concrete and wood:


Before finishing todays work Lärkan and Karim also managed to measure several floor boards and thereby start to prepare for the future floor.