Published on October 27, 2020
2020 has been a funny old year and one we won’t want to repeat in a hurry. As I write some restrictions are in place again, and though frustrating, as these are meant to keep us all safe, I for one am complying with a good grace.
We had lots of one or two day fairs booked for this year along with two bigger events, namely the big summer exhibition and the ‘Christmas Craftastic’ event in November. Of course we had to cancel these but hopefully all events will be able to go ahead in 2021.
NB We have unfortunately had to cancel the big ‘CRAFTASTIC CHRISTMAS’ event due to be held in November at Kirkwall Grammar School.
This doesn’t mean we have been idle. Our artists and makers have still been drawing, painting, engraving, photographing, potting, stitching, crocheting, knitting, felting, moulding glass, working wood, stone and silver to develop new products and replenish stock. And of course online sales and repeat orders have continued.
There is always something positive to find in even the worst situations and this has proved true for at least one of our members. Brian Case, a pyrography artist, has taken the opportunity to do some serious revamping of his workshop. You can read Part 1 of his own ‘Orkney(inga) Saga’ here.
A Tale of Two Workshops.
The demise and resurrection of a work place by Brian Case
This is the story of how my workshop/studio has been given a new lease of life after decades of enduring the weather here on Orkney.
My name is Brian Case, and I’m a wood crafter and pyrography artist here on South Ronaldsay. Since my wife and I moved to Orkney a few years ago, I have been producing my art and craft in an old static caravan. ‘Inherited’ from the previous owners, I knew it was long past its best, but seemed good enough for spare household items and my workshop. Totally overloaded, last winter’s storms took their toll on the poor old thing, and the walls and floor of the caravans living-room area had started to sag alarmingly. There were rainwater leaks through the roof/wall joins, the aluminium roof and wall panels had several cracks, the timber framing was rotten around the door and windows, and the steel chassis under the living room was terminally corroded; but behind this area, the caravan seemed to be fine and the cost of replacing the caravan proved prohibitive, so I decided to see if I could do something to help it survive another few years. The purchase of a shipping container supplied a store for all the stuff that had contributed to the partial collapse of the caravan. I was determined to re-use as much of the old caravan as possible – I hate to waste anything that might prove useful, and often use reclaimed wood in my art.
I started by removing all the internal walls. This yielded a large amount of 30mm pine batten framing, several 2mm plywood wall-board sheets and 3 doors – all in perfect condition and to my delight, the main external floor-bearers (the wooden backbone of the structure) were in excellent condition through the whole length of the ‘van. I decided to shorten the length of the caravan, to finish with a building about 6 meters (18 feet) long – a length dictated by the poor condition of the front-end of the structure. The result will be a purpose built workshop/studio/office with a functioning loo, hot water and sink, heating and insulation; all of which were lacking in the previous “incarnation”, and to get the job completed before the autumn gales returned. No pressure, then.
…………………………..to be continued.