A couple of years ago, I switched from a satellite dish tv provider to a different provider. I got on the roof and dismantled the dish itself to return the parts of it that have to go back. What they don't want back is the dish itself. I get that...what would they do with it? Heavily faded and weathered oval shaped metal bowl of sorts. What was I going to do with it? It sat on the front porch for a while, half hidden behind a column and a bush. Wasn't sure if it could go into my recycle bin? I was sure it could be something more interesting...
At the same time, SmART (the art supply reuse store that I've mentioned before) had a donation of different sized wooden spools. Not the spools you'd wind thread or yarn on, but spools for wire and cable. The most obvious thing those big spools make you think of is a table. Sometimes the most obvious is perfect. Especially when it tells you what to do with that satellite dish. I selected a medium spool and had already purchased several bags of small different colored square tiles; they were waiting for me to find their inspiration. I was getting close.
First, I painted the rim of the dish in black gloss enamel. I had some in the basement so there wasn't a big design decision about that. Even though I knew I'd have to touch it up after tiling, that was better than having to paint it completely after tiling...I knew it would be almost impossible to have a clean edge between the grout and the metal.
Second, I filled the dish with concrete. This was trickier than I expected because of the curve of the dish. I needed to make it as flat as possible and fill it evenly about 1/4" from the top of the rim. It took some time, but I got pretty close. My approach was to slightly overfill it and use a damp, but very well rung out, sponge to level and smooth, removing small amounts of wet concrete with each pass. I let that set up for a few days.
I sorted the tiles and had everything set up on the island in my kitchen so I could work on it a little at a time. The inspiration came from my doodling habit. My notebook at work is filled with notes from meetings, and on the sides, top, and bottom, with doodles and faces. I'm not great with faces but my doodling is pretty darn good. Over the course of a week of so, I worked with one color at a time and free form laid the design. I used more concrete to grout the tiles once they were all set. The biggest cautionary piece of advice is to make double sure you have enough tile for a project! I was sure I had more than enough, however....you'll notice in the pictures that there are a few lighter gray tiles and a small detail of six salmon colored tiles. I ended up using the tiles I had set aside because they were odds and ends...yikes!
The spool didn't need much work to make the table base. I ran my rotary sander over it, brushed it with wood conditioner, stained and sealed it. Because the satellite dish is like a low bowl, I attached four small wood blocks on top of the spool to hold the satellite-dish-now-table-top steady. It now lives on my front porch. Voila!
Hi, I'm Donna. Long time artisan/creative. Full time work in nonprofit world. Mother of two adult sons. Currently, also mother of two cats.
The patience project. Because patience is a virtue. And a creative challenge.
Don't mess with imperfection. How copper and heat speak for themselves.
Politics and Art wage war inside me
Write 100 words, take a nap and share your mantra
Tile and wood floor...this year's winter project...kitchen renovation