Studio Update – July

Well, you’re probably thinking I’ve lost interest in my new studio. Far from it! But I have been very busy preparing for the US workshops, and I was away for the whole of June running them. However, progress has been made.

Shortly before our departure I completed the overhead wiring of a telephone line from our house to the studio, after welding various bits of spare metal together to make a mast. It will eventually have a weather vane on top… if only we could find it! We received it as a gift a few years ago and stored it away safely. Too safely!

Erecting the smart new telecoms mast... and Swallow perch

Years ago we bought an old plan chest for £2 from a farm sale and ever since it’s lived in my workshop collecting dust… until now. It was far too deep so I’ve reduced its depth by nine inches, I’ve renovated the carcass, given it three coats of paint and now it just needs handles – all 18 of them! With a new and wider top fitted, it will become my workbench in the studio.

Plan chest - waiting for the paint to harden
Power consumer unit
I’ve been doing all the electrical work myself…but I draw the line at connecting it all to the mains!

I had the professionals in to complete the job, after I’d dug a 30 metre trench between our house and the studio for the power cable. They did a very neat job, checked out my wiring for me (only one missing earth connection!) and set up the system to include the studio wiring once it’s completed.

The packing and shipping room has been in use for a couple of months or more, and the shelves are full of copies of “Drawing from Line to Life”, office supplies, and prints. It’s working out almost as planned and I’m very pleased with it.

The busy packing and shipping room

The plan was to return from the US and complete the studio itself… but my desktop computer (in the old office) decided to cook a vital system file and denied me Internet access. I wasted two days trying too fix the fault , partially succeeding, and then decided it would be more productive to install myself in the new office. We already had a new computer in place but, as you’ll know if you’ve transferred the contents between computers, what seemed like a one day job has turned into a five day job!

As I write I have 95% of essential programs and files installed and working, so we’re back in business. That’s good, because today (July 6th) is the first day of my current 10-week online correspondence course at Incidentally there are places still available – just head over to and enrol.

Next I have to totally wipe the old computer and bring it back to life as our accounts machine, which my wife Jenny will be operating. And I have the positions and wiring of existing equipment to sort out, as I have had to install myself in the new office before everything was completely ready.

One half of the new office

Tomorrow I begin work on the studio itself – and I have a deadline of the end of August! We’re running the first 2-day workshop in the studio on September 17th-18th (details: currently half full) so it has to be ready! It’s a 20 feet by 22 feet room and all I have to do is………

The studio as it is today!

…….paste liner paper on the ceiling, prepare and paper all four walls, paint the ceiling, fit skirting boards, install the electrics and air conditioning… Ok, so this is going to take some time! I’ll post progress here as it happens – if only to make sure I’m ready on time. 🙂