For years I have dreamt of having my own darkroom at home but whilst I was doing my degree, it wasn't a necessity, merely a want. During the degree I had access to some amazing darkrooms and more often than not, I had them to myself, and so I just couldn't warrant the cost or effort of making one at home.
But I've finished my degree now and one of the things I am missing the most is the space to create, and the unmistakable smell of darkroom chemicals. And so, with trepidation I began thinking of converting our brick shed.
The brick shed in question is attached to the back of the garage and has been used as a dumping ground, storing a decade's worth of memorabilia, junk and general 'stuff'. But what put me off converting it was the eight legged beasts that dwell in this Aladdin's Cave.
I'm not bothered by many things. Rats, mice, moths, slugs, snails - I don't mind them at all. They don't send me running but spiders... NOPE! And unfortunately for me, the shed isn't quite as sealed as I'd like, which means a whole host of the critters lay in wait for us and as I see it, there's really only one way to deal with them:
BURN DOWN THE SHED!
However, apparently that isn't a 'logical' or 'acceptable' course of action so instead we donned our hazmat suits and on Saturday started the arduous task of emptying out the shed.
One weekend and skip load later, and I have the start of a darkroom.
There's still a long way to go before it becomes useable, but it's a big step closer. As its stands the walls are currently getting a good lick of paint and then I'll be using enough silicon sealer to sink a ship! Once I'm happy its as secure as it can be (from the eight legged fear mongers) it will require a massive clean before I can start fitting the work surfaces, wiring up the lights and plumbing in the sink.
It's going to take some doing but, if I push hard, I may have my own cosy darkroom by the end of the month. Until then I'll keep painting, in between sweeping out the critters and doing various versions of 'the spider dance' (you know the moves you do when you accidentally walk into a cobweb or a brazen arachnid happens to launch itself at you).
Wish me luck people, I'm going back in!