Powdercoat Oven

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 Cedar Valley Workshop


About The Shop: I built the workshop in 1991, a few months following the birth of my daughter. My wife's pottery studio was added in 2003 by enclosing the "tractor shed" (area under the lower roof to the left of the picture) and adding the smaller garage door. Actually, the studio was borne from an argument about how "my" sawdust was getting into "her" clay. Nothing like a directive from your wife to add on to the shop! The basic dimensions are 24'x36' for "my" side, 12'x24' for "her" side, and a 12'x24' upper floor.

The shop is named after Cedar Valley, a stop in the road on the west side of Austin, TX. The namesake tree, called "cedar" by the locals, but actually an Ashe Juniper, is an invasive, non-native species which blankets the hills around Austin. The tree came into its own due to livestock overgrazing during WWII and the subsequent suppression of range fires. Left on its own, the tree grows into a large, unruly bush, crowding out everything around it. The following is an example of a cedar which has been trained by trimming the lower branches away.

It's one of the few cedars in my yard.

And the following is a view of Cedar Valley from the second floor of the shop.

Construction: Since I've always worked in the construction business, it was natural that I build my own shop. Before even starting, I stumbled across a large glu-lam beam that was salvaged from a hotel demolition site, and I designed the shop around it. This beam was 37' long and became the backbone of the upper floor. It allows a clear floor space with no columns.

The slab and framing of the upper floor were subbed out. I did most everything else including siding and framing of the lower floor, rock work, roofing of the lower floor, garage doors, electrical, and shelves, benches, etc. inside.

By the time the pottery shop addition came around in 2003, I was self-employed in the remodeling business. My crew did all of the work on the studio addition. Once again, I did the electrical, some of the painting, and the rock work, some of which is still in progress.

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All text, images, and drawings are Copyright © 2006 by Gary Brady.

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