Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Milking Stool

The Milk Stool had been sitting on the wood stack since I unloaded the truck after selling our family cow.  I had compelling reasons to sell her:  I had grown terribly allergic to her, she required as much food as a small herd of other types of cows, the kids were grown up and moving out, and our leased land had become far too valuable as development property.  She went to a great home that loves her and give me updates about her.  Still I missed her.

Seeing the milking stool brought back lots of memories.  That milking stool had hung in a tree in the pasture in the summertime.  In the winter I had more than one icy ride under the belly of my patient cow.  The stool wasn't big enough to hold me on top of new deep snow but it was a formidable defense from a hormonal new momma cow.  And so I decided I wanted to preserve it rather than watch it rot out there.  What better way than to use milk paint!

I now have dairy goats.  I'm not allergic, they are both thrifty and productive, and I can handle them by myself.  I love how they entertain as well as provide.

  To get started on making paint, I set fresh warm milk out to clabber for a week, and then drain it well.  I add lime and water and then mix pigments to get the color I want.  Finally I paint in layers until I am satisfied with the outcome.  

I love the chippy antiqued look the milk paint gave it. Milk paint interacts with the medium and adds an element of the unknown.

I finished it with a beeswax finish from our own bee hives.

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