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splatgirl 09-16-2010 10:48 AM

Facade Finishing
At long last, progress made on finishing my WFO facade!
I left it more or less like this last fall. I did manage to get the concrete countertop/landing you can see the formwork for poured and finished, but that was about it:
wfo in the snow by splatgirl, on Flickr

Carpentry, ugh. Finish carpentry, even bigger ugh. It was like pulling teeth, but I got that stuff over with and slapped some paint on the enclosure fairly early in the spring and then spent most of summer agonizing over what I wanted to do with the big flat surface on the front. Originally I had thought I would mosaic the whole thing, but I decided it really needed something dimensional to make it more interesting, plus I am about mosaic-ed out for this year and the thought of doing another 20 or so square feet was making me nauseous.
I had just finished a huge 3-D mosaic art piece for our local co-op that involved sculpting EPS board and spray foam for the form, and working on that led me to the idea of a curvy mosaic "frame" for the mouth of my WFO. It took me a bit of pondering to get from styrofoam to something heatproof and sculpt-able that would work for a WFO, but then I realized vermicrete...duh.
For support, I made a little bit of wire armature that I stapled to the hardi-backer and then packed and sculpted vermicrete into the shape I wanted and let it cure. It worked even better than I thought it would. So far, anyway.
building the 3D mosaic surface on WFO facade by splatgirl, on Flickr
almost finshed facade by splatgirl, on Flickr
chicken chicken chicken by splatgirl, on Flickr

The rest of the facade is some stainless steel pennyround tile that was a huge splurge but totally drool-worthy. I grouted both elements with charcoal colored grout with the hope that soot would just blend in. I still need to decide what to do with the return and what I can do instead of that white board fascia. What I wouldn't give for a sheet metal brake...

I hope the sculptural element stands up to repeated heat cycling. I'm not worried about the sides, but the part over the top of the arch is cantilevered four or so inches out from the face and in my mind is questionable even with the wire armature under there. I was wondering if I could have overlaid the vermicrete substrate with fiberglass mosaic mesh before I did the glass but wasn't sure how that would take the heat. So we'll see. So far it's only seen one firing.

Tscarborough 09-16-2010 11:14 AM

Re: Facade Finishing
That is stunningly beautiful!

As long as it dries slow enough, it should be fine.

dmun 09-16-2010 11:49 AM

Re: Facade Finishing
This is great! I like designs that don't look like anything else. I like the flame shaped mosaic external arch, the silvery round tile, and the exaggerated tilt of the roof. Great.

Can we get a longer shot of the completed oven?

splatgirl 09-16-2010 01:00 PM

Re: Facade Finishing
Thanks, guys.

Not like anything else, yes. That would pretty much describe me and everything I touch. If it looked normal, people would have wondered what happened :)
view of the WFO by splatgirl, on Flickr

Looking at this photo reminds me that I need to bug S.O. to trench in an electrical run. I save the really fun stuff for him.

Now, any ideas of what I should do in place of the much-too-Cape-Cod looking white fascia?

fxpose 09-16-2010 05:32 PM

Re: Facade Finishing
Holy chit! Very nice so far!!!!!

Tscarborough 09-16-2010 05:37 PM

Re: Facade Finishing
Admitting that I am a non-conformist, and a person who notices small details of construction, I have two suggestions:

First the construction detail:

I like the tin roof, but there is a trim piece made that conforms to the undulations of the tin. You should install and caulk that piece or you are going to have issues with the roof decking rotting out.

Second, there is no doubt that I would paint the fascia the same color as the flame tiles.

splatgirl 09-16-2010 07:03 PM

Re: Facade Finishing
Thanks t.s., and yea, I know, the corrugated trim piece...that gap is driving me nuts. Eave gap trim?

Painting the fascia red! I love the fast and easy sound of that, not to mention the fact that I already have a can of bright red exterior in the garage :)

Tscarborough 09-16-2010 08:03 PM

Re: Facade Finishing
My wife gives me the arched eyebrow, "Umm, OK", when I describe my plans (with my hands and words and squinted eye giving form to whatever odd project I propose), but she doesn't try and stop me.

EricU 09-17-2010 08:23 AM

Re: Facade Finishing
That is awesome

That is AWESOME!!! I love the red flame tiles!

I thought some of my design ideas where a little out there, my friends pretty much have learned to just wait until the finished product comes out before they give too much of an opinion. I have a good friend who still wants to know what color I am going to paint my house as half of it is yellow and half is barn red (because that half looks like a barn) and I have lived in the house for two years!

Anyway, that really looks killer, nice work!

Neil2 09-18-2010 10:33 AM

Re: Facade Finishing
The cantilevered concrete counter looks useful.

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