The photo on the right appeared in this Hyakunin Issho newsletter four years ago, back in the summer of 2004. At that time I wrote, "This coming winter should be much more comfortable for me; finally, after living in Tokyo for 18 years, I will have at least one room where I can sit without shivering!"
What a joke! Although the insulation in the four walls and subfloor were thus finished, I hadn't realized that the next step - insulating the ceiling - would still be underway four years later. And with only 5 of the 6 areas done, the room has still been bitterly cold every day of every winter since then. Why has it taken so long to move forward?
Well, part of the problem has of course been the difficulty of 'stealing' time from the printmaking work, but honestly speaking, I don't think that's really the answer. The real reason has more to do with my silly 'perfectionism'. I really want to do a good job on this room, as I will be working here for many years to come, but I just haven't able to settle on the 'best' way to proceed. I considered this method and that method; looked at these materials and those materials, and in the end, just kept postponing it.
Finally though, in the 'free' week that I had available between finishing one print and leaving for the trip to Canada, I realized that my indecision was no longer justifiable, and finally managed to push myself into action. Putting aside the question of whether or not it was the 'best' choice, I settled on an insulation system, bought some supplies, and got to work. I wasn't able to finish the entire job within that week before the trip, but 'broke the back' of the job, and the rest should now be easy. As long as I can maintain my 'get at it!' mood, it looks like I might actually have a warm room to work in during this coming winter
One thing that had been holding me back was the difficulty of drilling up over my head into the concrete ceiling to anchor the framing members for the insulation, but one of my neighbours - a man who works in the construction trades - taught me about a very strong concrete bonding agent that makes it possible to use glue for that job.
So there's where things stand at the moment - the framing members are all strongly glued into position, one test piece of insulation is in place, and all that's left to do is to tack the rest of them up, cover it all with a tight vapour barrier, and then put some finishing material on top.
Anybody taking bets on when the next installment of this saga will appear?