Weekend Project: Etching the Screen Door

You know those projects that you say you’re going to ‘get to’ but never do? You’re in good company. As designers, I feel we’re the cobblers daughter who never gets fitted for shoes. This Spring, I’ve decided differently.

We’re *finally* replacing the back screen door that was humorously destroyed between one playful puppy and one defensive cat many years ago.

It was a beautiful day after 87 tornados hit Raleigh yesterday –I’m amazed we didn’t get hit. And after running errands this morning, we finally returned with vigor to tackle our projects. While Andrew is finishing our booth for Artsplosure, I am digging into an impromptu project that needs to get done as a result of our most adorable, yet aggressive cat, Chardonnay.

Phase I:
We bought a wooden screen door ($20) from a large box improvement center to replace the jerry-rigged door we have. We also bought a piece of acrylic sheeting found in the same center to attach to the bottom half of the door to prevent said ‘NayNay from clawing his way out. We left the protective white sheet on that is affixed to the acrylic and attached it with screws. I’ve drawn images on the white sheet with a sharpie and used the 3 segments defined by the wooden door framing to use as part of the design. I’ll have 3 plates when I’m finished.

I started by using my Marrakech Cats as the focal point within the first panel. I’m trimming the negative spaces to allow for etching.

Back Screen Door

Back Screen Door

As the sun was setting and I was bent over the door that lay vertical on 2 saw horses in the back yard, Andrew came out to examine my handiwork. We discussed the etched sections would be most of the acrylic and NayNay would have difficulty watching the birds. Psfth! Where was ‘he’ when I was designing this? Oh yah, that’s right –working on my booth display. Anyway, as we looked at the design, I assessed where Chardonnay would be looking: from the bottom. So making modifications to this design was pretty easy.

Back Door

Initially, I stayed in creative theme with the Marrakech design and began from the side with 3 arcs. Then I decided it would be advantageous to keep the trimming to a minimum, so outlining the entire bottom section was where we would cover to prevent etching. In hindsight, I could have save 30 minutes of blade work. As it is, I’ll be saving 30 with the 2nd section that hasn’t been sketched yet.

BACK PAIN TIP: I just discovered this gem today. When you’re bent over for a certain length of time and it’s too painful to straighten your back: Squat in place. I continued my blade work and removing sections as I squatted for about 30 seconds or so then I stood pain free!

Stay tuned for more behind the scenes.

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