Shop Days


It almost looks (feels) like a job.   We have been trying to make a concerted push to finish the studio project lately.  I look back at past posts and realize that the photos all look nearly identical, which means our pace is frighteningly slow.  But we are pleased with what we've been able to do on a pretty shoestring budget and working a bit outside of our skillset/expertise.  It's more clear to me all the time that i am meant to be designing spaces...not building/finishing them.IMG_4499 IMG_4501

Regardless...its a fully functional space now.  We are still sleeping on a mattress on the floor, but finally have all the comforts of running water, electricity, a way to shower and cook meals (in maybe the world's tiniest kitchen) etc.  It's a surprisingly comfortable space and even when MakerFlat is available we find ourselves choosing the smaller confines of the studio.  A true testament to how much our lives and minds have changed toward smaller and simpler living.

We took an excuse to run away for a bit of a mini-road trip. We had experimented with a "home exchange" last year via AirBnB and we finally cashed it in for a few free nights at the central oregon coast.  It overlapped with a duck game, so we couldn't help but stop in eugene for some tailgating along the way, and then had a great 3 or 4 days decompressing along the coast.

Honestly we did almost nothing those days except a few movies, stay in bed all day and take the occasional walks along the coast.  The beauty of the coast line in this part of the state is its rugged shore.  We find ourselves mesmerized by the brutal crashing waves exploding into the sky as they connect with the rocky shore.  I could stand and watch for hours and am somehow more drawn to it than a calm horizon.

Our trip was well timed, other than the loss of the football game.  Although short, It fed our souls and was just long enough to make us ready to return home to Portland.  Absolutely delightful.IMG_4526 IMG_4529 IMG_4536 IMG_4545 IMG_4548IMG_4555

IMG_4730 IMG_4573 IMG_4563Over the last few weeks, it feels like we've been back and forth to the shop several times a day for plywood cuts, shaving off cabinet doors, trimming details etc.  But the last week or so we've been spending almost the entirety of our long days there.  In addition to the studio woodwork, I'm wrapping up a custom order for barstools and shelves that's heading for southern oregon.  Somehow people keep finding us and talking us into making furniture and custom installations despite theoretically getting out of the business.

And, we've been working on a custom loft ladder for the studio.  The original plan was to make a fancy floating spiral stair so that karma could join us, but the reality of it is although the design rocked, we cant afford to build that the way i would like.  And the dog isn't likely to climb it anyway as it would still be really steep and awkward for her little legs.  Instead we came up with a steel and wood ladder/stair (too steep for a stair, too shallow for a ladder) that fits the space and can be done really cheaply... but seems to require a lot of our time in gluing/building.

IMG_4743 IMG_4745

We are getting close to completion...but are also growing tired of being in the shop rather than at home finishing out the other touches on the space.

In other zenbox news, the mini house project is moving along rapidly.  Drywall is now complete and moving into trim and cabinetry.  We've also broken ground on what we have been calling the Eco ADU project, but financial cutbacks seem to be making this less focused on eco and more focused on still trying to get a really cool building constructed on a tight budget.  Luckily all parties involved are committed to seeing this through without giving up on the core design, but a few of the features have unfortunately been trimmed off along the way.

I've also got a few new clients.  One is another garage (or in this case barn) conversion and one is another ground up build.  Both in varying stages of design, but im having fun with both.

We've been turning down a lot of jobs lately.  The demand for ADUs in Portland is huge right now and It's odd how much this little side experiment we wandered into seems to have become a viable "job".

If only we were actually looking for work...IMG_4741 IMG_4756