Heave ho

Those of you who were readers of this blog when I first moved into Meadow Mill, might remember some discussion of the Very Large Shelf Unit in the middle of my studio. It is nearly 4 metres long, the best part of 2 metres high, 50 cm deep and made of solid – extremely solid – wood. It was built in situ and cannot be taken out of the studio as it wouldn’t get around the corners in the corridor. After the enormous efforts it took a team of four substantial volunteers to remove two half-size units, we resigned ourselves to leaving this large one sitting in the middle of the space, dividing the room into two.

But recently it has been bugging me. It is a challenging obstacle to work around, and I have never been happy with the constraint on my teaching space in particular. So we hatched a daring plan to try and move it – just the two of us (my attempt to bribe my brother with Sunday lunch failed as my mother had bribed him first) – with those wee roller things you can buy for moving wardrobes. The VLSU is the size of four wardrobes all stuck together, but we reckoned two sets of rollers ought to do it. Or, if they didn’t, that two sets of rollers was an acceptable level of fruitless expense.

Yesterday we shoved everything else to the edges of the studio (apologies for the weird phone-camera distortion)…

that unit

…and managed to insert the rollers.

those wheels

That part was easier than expected: the floor is so uneven, that getting the levers underneath was not a problem. S did the levering and lifting, I did the roller-shoving. And, much to our surprise, the VLSU began to move. The most difficult aspect of its journey across the room was that, whenever the floor dipped, one or more of the rollers would get left behind (see below) so we had to run around scooping them up, then re-levering and re-shoving.

losing wheels

Even the miracle of slightly wayward rollers was not going to make the unit bend around corners, so our aim was to get it flat up against the back wall by shifting it forwards and then pivoting around the pillar. And this we did. Yes, it actually worked.

Today, after moving everything else back out from the edges, I took one of those panorama pictures on my phone. They always make everything look absurdly spread out (as well as bendy). Well, the looms are no bendier than they were before, but the studio really does feel as spacious as that image to me.

studio panorama

There’s the VLSU on the right, warp pegs still attached. The rest is a big brightly lit space, full of looms. The warping boards have been on the back wall up to now, so they need a new home – possibly on the VLSU itself since it has two blank panels which are the backs of the storage space on the other side. That is the trade-off: the loss of one cupboard and one set of shelves. However, they were not easy spaces to use in any case so I am happy finding substitutes. And I am enjoying new perspectives across the room, like this from the SE corner to the NW.

studio from SE corner

Now I am getting on with making warps for the workshop on Saturday. I really like this primrose yellow.

yellow cotton

Heave ho” was posted by Cally on 20 April 2015 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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9 Responses

  1. Martha

    What a bright and open space you now have. Lovely, simply lovely.

    • Cally

      I’m so happy about it, Martha! 😀

  2. lauraannfryLaura

    Lovely. Nice getting natural light into all of the space. 🙂

  3. Sandra Rude

    Looks like a much more usable space now that the “great divide” is out of the way! It’ll make teaching much easier to have everything you need in one place.

  4. Jo

    Great job Cally, but how about the firewood option for the VLSU?

    • Cally

      It’s very tempting, Jo, but the VLSU doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the building. The first thing I did was to tax WASPS about its very existence, but they didn’t really like the nuclear option!

  5. Paula Nobre

    Good work!

  6. Pat Foster

    What a great improvement!

  7. Dot

    I’m late reading this, but so impressed with the adventure of rolling the VLSU across the room and the wonderful improvement in terms of light and space in your workshop!