Archive for the ‘clay room’ Tag

This week I have been mostly making …. Great strides towards “The dream”


Inside the clay room during construction. Stud work with insulated plasterboard fixed to the outside and metal boxes for electrical sockets.

Actually its been a whole month of progress. When we first looked at our new house one of the ground floor rooms was used as a bedroom. The walls were entirely lined with bookshelves and books  (our previous owner was a professor of medieval literature)  and the floor was covered with bed, furniture or rugs. It looked snug and cosy. When we moved in, and the room was bare, it looked like a cowshed – which is in fact what it used to be. The walls were bare, crumbling stone masonry, the floor sloped from front to back by several inches (probably something to do with bovine sanitation!) and there were electrical cables, not connected to anything, poking out of the walls. When we got the quotes for updating this room to modern habitable standards it appeared to consume the budget we had set aside for my pottery studio in the garden. This is when we hatched plan B. We decided to go ahead with plan B about 4 weeks ago.

Plan B was to convert the double garage into a pottery workshop.  I spent several evenings thinking about how best to use the space. I decided on dividing the area into two spaces. There would be the warm(ish – at the very least frost free) ‘clay room’ and the not so warm drying,  glazing and kiln room. The clay room is for storing, recycling and making with clay. The wheel will be there, lots of under bench storage space for clay, a kneading and wedging area, a bench for making slab pots etc., and lots of shelving for newly thrown or assembled pots which need further work before being consigned to the kiln. I decided to make an insulated box of a room in the back corner of the garage. All the walls and the roof would be made from thermally insulating materials.


The clay room from outside showing the door and the corrugated, original roof of the garage. The clay room has its own ceiling/roof within the garage and is an almost airtight box.

I duly ordered timber for stud work walls, insulated plaster board, and plywood. I already had cable and electrical fittings in my “useful box” and I dashed to the nearest DIY store for lots of screws etc. Several weeks earlier one of our local DIY stores had a closing down sale and I picked up a load of  formica covered, chipboard shelving.  I persuaded our builder, who is going to turn the cowshed into something habitable, to come straight away and fit the external insulation for the cowshed to the party wall between the cowshed and the garage ie to turn the crumbling stonework of the garage wall into a nice dry-lined, plumb vertical, plasterboard wall. I then cracked on with the  clay room. The stud work was done in 3 days. There was a two day delay waiting for the plasterboard and insulation  to be delivered and that took another 3 days to install. In the mean time I arranged for my neighbour’s nephew, an electrician, to run a beefy cable from the fuse box at the other end of the house to the garage to power my electric kiln.

After a day or two’s thought about the layout and ergonomics of the room I ‘set to’ putting in internal wall coverings, first fix electrical circuits – for sockets and lighting – and  work tops. Electrics always takes longer than I estimate, but its something you can’t be too careful with and in this case I was also actually remedying some dodgy wiring (chocolate block wrapped in gaffer tape)  that was already there. I was then interrupted by our carpenter for a few days as he removed the garage door and replaced it with western red cedar cladding, a pedestrian access door and a window. Another 2 days saw the electrics completed and another three days saw the majority of the shelving go up.

Its so good to know that within the next few days I will make some pots.

Is throwing like riding a bike? ie you never forget how. Its nine months since I threw a pot. Could be interesting.

Posted March 5, 2013 by damiankeefe in Uncategorized

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