Studio Construction - At Last!
Many of the stories in this newsletter are recurring - they are part of an ongoing series that keep you up-to-date on a particular topic. So it is with this particular story, but I suspect there will be a great many readers who can't remember the previous episode in the series, it was so long ago!
Yes, it's time for another update on the construction of our workroom. (Although I suppose in the last episode, I said 'my workroom'!)
Over the past years I have begun to sound like a real broken record: "... it'll be so nice to get this room well insulated before the winter arrives." But life just kept getting in the way, and construction was always the last thing on my to-do list.
This year though, the situation is very different; I am no longer working here alone. I can be very careless about the way I take care of myself, but I cannot be like that with other people. So a short time ago, I buckled down a bit, ordered some of the supplies we needed, and told my helpers one morning, "OK, no printing today; here are your tools, let's get to work!"
The two ladies - Tsushima-san and Ishigami-san - have no particular experience at construction, so I myself did the carpentry work (the photo above shows the new 'box' in which the staircase will be built). But there was plenty that they could do: in this next photo you can see Tsushima-san painting some new shelves, and in the photo on the intro page of this newsletter, Ishigami-san and I are stapling insulation up onto an exposed concrete beam.
We kept at it until the basic 'envelope' of the insulation was in place, before downing tools and returning to our barens. That first evening I worked at my printing bench, and the outside temperature was around 13 degrees, but the thermometer beside me was a quite comfortable 20. Once we get into deep winter and the outside temperature drops drastically, we plan to use a small electric panel heater, expecting that this will be adequate to keep our workroom snug and warm.
So what's still left to do? Plenty! As you saw, the staircase has yet to be built, and the stairwell will remain closed off at least until the spring (we are using the outside stairs for access to the room). Another very large job waiting for attention is that of getting all the communication cables into order. Wires for internet, telephone, intercom, electric power, and audio are still hanging down from the ceiling, and these need to be sorted out and put into proper conduits.
And all that insulation - as wonderful as it is to see it in place - is still bare and exposed. I need to decide what sort of wall coverings I want, and then get that material ordered too.
But those are just 'details' - we've now got ourselves a basically comfortable workspace, and it's time to get to work on making some stacks of beautiful woodblock prints!