August 10, 2010

The plea was sent out yesterday (some people were lucky enough to receive it 5 times due to my lack of office skills)and the response has been heartening. Once again I am appreciating the irony that I am setting out to teach hand skills, which are beeing lost due to technology ,and in the process I am learning more about technology than I thought possible.

I will get to the woodworking, but first I want to wax on about the small spaces that have led me to this project. The shed project actually happened in two stages. It was first built to be a shed (imagine that), a place to store all the crap I have since given away. Three years ago I started to build the Tear Drop Trailer. While constructing it I got overly involved in the electrical (which is still not resolved completely)I began figuring out the ins and outs of solar and became enthralled. I eyed the shed and thought it could be so much more. With the help of my wonderful friends who seem to think all my crazy ideas are worth involvement(maybe they are just being nice)I insulated and put windows and a loft in that sweet little structure. I got solar panels , battery controller, inverter, and a battery and set up a carving studio. It has been a wonderful place to work in. I have a propane heater in the winter and a 12 volt truckers fan for the summer. Upon completing school in April I have stored all my big sculptures in the shed and now I can not get in the door. I will have to be moving in soon so I need a place to store sculptures. I purchased a 10′ by 20′ tent and I am going to weld extra metal to it to create a super structure(that is not connected to the ground- so I won’t have to deal with the restrictive code issues we have in this side of the country). The art works get put in this structure. and I can clean out the shed/studio and move in. After the initial shed renovation I started thinking more about the idea of mobile units. I had a front porch that had been insulated and finished, but was empty. Its dimensions were 6 1/2′ by 16′. My friend Leah had scored a bunch of strips of birch ply when they remodeled the offices she worked in, and she was kind enough to give them to me. I decided to use the porch as a place to start thinking about compact living. I built a loft with the recycled birch for my bed, with a couch below that pulls out to a bed. The stairs double as drawers. The back side of the stair/drawers is a bookcase facing you when you are on the couch. I have lived in this room for two years. When I moved out of the other bedroom which was quite large, I set the task of getting rid of all unnecessary clothing that would not fit into this loft space.I still have some stuff hanging in a closet in the hall. This week I set my goal to halve what is in the loft. I was successful except for my sentimental tee shirts. I don’t wear them but they carry meaning. I decided to cut them into strips and weave them into a rug for the van/workshop. Thus allowing me to carry the memories in a useful way.

About turningaroundamerica

Collaborative Team of Jenn Moller and Beth Ireland
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