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Carl’s Troutateria


The grass planting process took sev- eral hours but wasn’t too tedious, as it was done over several sessions. The grass growing up through the skids was trimmed short with manicure scis- sors to allow the tram to operate. Di- luted acrylic paint will be brushed onto select areas of the grass to vary the col- or slightly. This step isn’t absolutely necessary, since the light reflecting off the fibers at different angles varies the color and intensity somewhat. The bulrushes were made by slipping shaped bits of styrene tube onto lengths of thin, wrapped floral wire, then fixed with white glue. The styrene tubes were painted with burnt sienna acrylic paint, and dry pigment of the same color was sprinkled onto the wet paint to give a fine, fuzzy texture on the bulrush


An old streetcar serves as the food stand for Carl’s. An added-on kitchen structure extends out over river. The tram circles the food stand and crosses the river on a bridge partially supported by old skids.


ly cheap hairspray. The smaller, darker live tree represents a refinement of my tree-making technique in that the ar- mature is made from a bundle of gath- ered and glued strands of binder twine. After the armature is made the tech- nique follows the practice described above except that for this tree the leaves are made from dried, crushed and sifted baby spinach.


Twigs are used extensively on the


layout. It’s my belief that nothing will represent old, weathered, rotted wood as realistically as, well, old, weathered, rotted wood. I regularly go “twigging” in the woods, that is, I go for walks and in- stead of marveling at the majesty of the tree canopy I keep my eyes focused on the ground. It doesn’t take long to col-


heads. The areas on the layout that rep- resent dirt were covered with very fine sawdust mixed with dry tempera paint to yield a medium brown color. This mixture is held in place using a slightly thinned solution of matte medium with a bit of photographic wetting agent added to make it flow.


I am essentially a lazy person and as a result I try to find easy ways to do things. The trees on the layout are the result of necessity running headlong into the conservation of effort. The large tree in the center of the layout and the tall, dead tree behind the sta- tion are both made from bundled natu- ral growth. The trunk and branches of


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the live tree are root pieces taken from an upturned tree, bundled together and glued. The lower trunk section was then coated with plaster and textured to resemble bark. A similar treatment was employed for the dead tree, but the pieces used in that tree are spirea branches from the garden. Both trees were painted a vari- ety of earth-toned colors using aerosol spray cans. The live tree has short lengths of binder twine fibers (I have over a mile of the stuff, remember) at- tached to the root armature with spray adhesive. Leaves of chopped, green tis- sue paper were sprinkled onto the branches after soaking them with real-


SEPTEMBER 2012


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