Sunday, August 29, 2010
The stove has been removed from the cabin. It is a mighty symbol of independence, or is it not, now that it serves no need, sates no hunger? Perhaps it's a relic? No, all the ashes have been removed, it houses no remains. It does have the patina of age. Rust, soot, oil. The only thing that betrays its false age is the shiny chrome handle for the door and also perhaps the modern warning label riveted to its face.
One of the chimney sections too came with a warning label of some kind, but it was burned to oblivion during the first fire. That primary blaze which I had been so excited for filled the entire cabin with putrid, black smoke. Ironically, this label cautioned the user on many points but contained no instructions regarding removal before use. At first, I thought that once the chimney warning label was removed the smoke would stop. This was not the case. The smoke sublimed off the surface of the chimney itself, the black shiny paint melting, burning, and finally curing matte black, like watching glaze in a kiln transform into enamel. It wasn't entirely unpleasant, but mostly so.
Subsequent fires became larger, longer and hotter and this annealing process rose up the dark pillar until the whole indoor section of the chimney had burned up to its current flat black finish.
The rain sometimes came in. First, the chimney support box at the roof line filled with water and leaked. This was before the slip collar was installed. Even after, driven rain worked its way under the chimney cap, through the spark arrestor and down the tunnel on many occasions. Last year there was a lot of rain. Snow too. I still feel lucky that I didn't fall off shoveling the roof, a precaution from leaks.
The only other leak came during Spring. It was on the backside of the house, the side adjacent to Outlaw Gallery. In that case, long storms had soaked the roof edge and water trickled under the shingles along the plywood sheathing, finally finding a release in a small gap in the styrofoam ceiling. The remedy in this case was to apply a bead of asphalt sealant on the edge of the shingles. I guess that needed a drip edge like the one on the bottom of the roof as well.
The best way to keep the rain out was with fire.