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Studio construction update: chainsaw massacre!

Posted by Dave Bull at 2:28 AM, December 11, 2011 [Permalink]

No better way to show today's studio 'update' than with a pair of photos...

Here's the 'before' - taken a couple of days ago. Nice autumn colours we have right now!

And the 'after' - taken this morning:

Let's step outside and take a closer look ...

Yes, my neighbour Tamura-san across our river, has decided to take down all the trees on the lower portion of his property. He can't actually see them from his home, but wants to get them down before they grow tall enough to be any possible threat to the buildings across the river (namely me).

I've talked with him about this before, telling him that I'm not worried about it, but he's taking no chances. Down they come.

We went through this around seven or eight years ago with this same grove, so that's how old these trees are (were!). It's also interesting to note that he calls them 'weeds', not trees. From his point of view, they are just a nuisance that keeps endlessly coming back ...

* * *

But all is not dreary news today. Now that this workshop is warmer, I am spending much more time down here, instead of 'escaping' quickly upstairs as soon as any given session of work is done. So it is time to 'upgrade' the music system - I took the small 'temporary' speakers upstairs, and brought my main set of speakers down here, hooking them up to cables that had been prepared for them some years ago, when I was framing these walls.

And then ... drum roll, please! I unpacked a box that has been 'sleeping' and waiting for this moment for over ten years - ever since I moved into this place.

Woof, woof! :-)

Yes, a sub-woofer unit! I haven't been able to use this for a long time, because the houses here are simply too close together (not to mention all being very light wood-frame construction). But down here in this completely concrete workroom - which is now stuffed with dense insulation to boot - we're ready to roll!

It's not something that will be turned on while playing light background music during the times that the ladies are here, but once they've gone home, I can let 'er rip ...

Time to make up for all those years as a teenager (and after) when all I had was the lowest of lo-fi scratchy record players!


Following comment posted by: Dave on December 11, 2011 10:01 PM

Did you notice (in the first speaker picture) what is stapled to the wall near the worktable?

It's a graph of how this 'business' has been doing over the 20+ years since I started publicly issuing prints, along with some of the recent yearly financial statements. (Some of these were included in recent issues of my newsletter, here and here.)

I want the other people working here to be aware of our situation - both when we are doing well, and when we are looking a bit more shaky. In the first week of January, after I do the final year-end 'totting up', I'll update with all the numbers for 2011.

It's going to be interesting to see how we have done this year, what with all the new experiments that have gone on. There have been a whole lot of new expenses, and they haven't yet been matched by much new revenue of course, as it is still early days. So the next report may actually look a bit grim.

But what won't really show in those numbers is the fact that we are investing! Hopefully, the sheets I pin up on the wall in January of 2013, just over a year from now, will tell a different tale!

Following comment posted by: Preston Lawing on December 11, 2011 11:17 PM

I think, with the investing and training of new staff, new product lines and new ideas, that your dream of a grand Mokuhangan store is getting closer!


Following comment posted by: Dave on December 11, 2011 11:45 PM

... training of new staff

I haven't mentioned much about this recently, but Tsushima-san is getting very close now. She's currently doing all the colour printing on the new year print (I did the key block), in an 'edition' of 300 copies. And the print she finished up just previous to starting that is actually just waiting for me to get the paperwork/packaging done to put it into the catalogue, which I am going to do sometime later this week, as soon as I get unchained from my current job at my own bench (the Jakuchu print ...).

Come January, the jobs I am going to give her will all be directed at producing for sale, rather than specifically for training.

And I've asked all the ladies to put out feelers in their 'network', to see who else they know that might be interested in getting involved. One part-time printer - as good as Tsushima-san is turning out to be - is simply not enough. We need to find more like her!

Following comment posted by: Bob on December 12, 2011 2:16 AM


Your work on your studio has inspired me. After only twenty years, I have begun to insulate my own studio/shed.

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