art. house. mum.
I couldn't decide whether this post would be an ode to the humble packing pallet, or a lamentation reflecting on how the kids have comandeered my studio and made it into a cubby house. So perhaps we'll make it both.
As I have pondered setting this studio up over the past couple of months it has become evident that a few things are very important to me...
- bench space
- clear floor space
- the option of making mess at the right moments...
And naturally, most of these things are integrated and affect each other. They also require furniture and fittings. What a score it was, then, when the carpet shop said "Well, if you want anything cheaper, then you've really got to go second-hand" and I said "Well sure, but where do I get it from?"
"Just there... we can't sell it, so we just put it in a pile right there fore people to come and collect if they want it..." Brilliant.
And then when I asked the local hardware man (BMS, if you want to know) "So, do you ever have any pallets that you don't need anymore?" and he answered "Sure, I'll just go check what we've got out the back..." and then came back saying that if we backed the ute up he'd help us load whatever we wanted to take, I felt like we had been given a wonderful chance to custom build exactly what we need for this particular studio.
You see, I'm no cabinet maker and I would have thought that what I was capable of making wouldn't be worthy of new materials. But with upcycled timber I was fearless... and though it's not pretty, what I made is sturdy and functional.
So, here's a few of the places the pallets have ended up (in parts)...
The first time I've ever been able to lay out my paints for easy stocktake and access...
The stretched canvas storage area which doubles as a bedroom while the kids are playing around the studio (cubby house). At the time when I was making this we didn't even have a saw (of any description), so I was restricted to using timber which was already the right length ... and to make the dowel the right length I dented it with a stanley knife then snapped it... very professional. I splashed out since then and bought a saw... it opens up so many different options!
An extra large pallet provides the frame for the bench top. With shelving under each end in the place of legs, it is sturdy and multi-functional. Now I've just got to convince the kids that that is a printing press handle and not the steering wheel (terminology anyone?) of a pirate ship...
Perhaps one of the most lovely things about the studio is that it is turning out to be a place where the whole family likes to hang out together. Though I look forward to sessions alone burying myself in my artwork, for this time of setting up, it has been lovely to enjoy the company of Matt and the kids as we all learn new skills, tackle new materials (Matt has mastered sheeting with colourbond, and the kids have relished the chance to swing hammers), and explore this new space together.
Have you made anything cool out of old packing pallets?