Friday 18 August 2017

Studio Update: New Shelves

For many years my studio has been populated with odd bits of second-hand furniture and shelves. Building up a studio from scratch often means adapting items you already have. I've always re-used and re-purposed old pieces of furniture that were 'down-graded' from the house and given them a new lease of life in the pottery. And when I needed something extra, I looked in second-hand shops for something to fill a gap.

The trouble with second-hand items though is while it might be cheaper than buying new, they don't always maximise the space. And my new studio - although bigger than the last one - somehow wasn't working out well using my existing kit; I was constantly tripping over stacks of stuff on the floor, whilst there was loads of unused space around the walls.

So I decided to get myself some new shelves. I needed tall, heavy-duty shelving that could withstand quite a lot of weight. I've never been keen on drilling holes into brickwork and didn't feel up to the challenge of designing a whole wall of twin-slot bracket shelving (way too daunting!) So I chose a brand new, self-standing, easy-to-assemble and adjustable metal shelf unit instead - delivered to my door.

It slotted (fairly) easily together and took me half a day with a mallet to bang all the pieces into place. It has five shelf boards (unfortunately chip) which I painted with a few coats of emulsion to seal them and make them more waterproof - a must in a pottery. I would have preferred real wood, but no where seemed to offer it.

As you can see in the photos, I've managed to get quite a lot of stuff onto these shelves with some room for more in the future (weight permitting). The tricky part was deciding where to place the height of each shelf as the 'adjustability' was only before assembly (once hammered in, there's no going back!) So I had to carefully plan where items would go so everything would fit in the best possible way. As a last minute brainwave I chose to fix the bottom shelf quite high off the ground allowing me to slide some heavy buckets underneath - and I'm so glad I did!

So far I'm very pleased with them, they seem fairly solid and I quite like the way they look too - which always helps!