Friday, 23 January 2009

Take Part in Shed of the Year 2009

"Do you have a garden shed that is unique?" asks Uncle Wilco head sheddie of "Maybe it's your own little bolthole away from the trials of life. Maybe you have converted your humble garden building into a pub, or are a treehugger at heart and are building an eco shed, or maybe it's just a normal wooden building that's special to you."

If you as a sheddie are proud of your shed then now's the time to enter this year's 'Shed of the Year' competition, which takes place during the third National Shed Week commencing July 6th 2009.

Entries are already flooding in for Shed of the Year 2009 and to add your shed online click on this link

This year's celebrity judges are Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, shed fancier and property guru Sarah Beeny (grrr) and shed-based inventor of the windup radio, Trevor Baylis (double grrr).

They will be joined by shedworking expert Alex Johnson from, eco architect Lloyd Alter, and Uncle Wilco, head sheddie from and organiser of National Shed Week.

Together they will be deciding if your shed will make the grade and take the top shed crown.

Following a public vote starting June 2009 which will produce a shortlist of winners, the judges will pick their "Shed of the Year 2009" during National Shed Week itself.

Wow! A 3-D shed!

I think this is really good.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Group seeks God in 'The Shack'

Controversial best-seller sparks a teaching series at Broken Arrow church

'Had to happen,' says Shedman. 'Look out for more Shack related activities, but you have been warned.

' The shack serves as a backdrop for a 12-week teaching series on a best-selling novel that is being praised and criticized in publications, on Web sites, by Bible study groups and during Starbucks' conversations across the nation.

The Rev. Chris Buskirk, founder and pastor of Abiding Harvest, said he decided to teach the series on "The Shack" after realizing it could help people "turn the page on the pain of broken relationships and tragedies in their lives."

"After reading the book, I felt closer to the Lord, more in conversation with God, than at any other time of my life," said Buskirk, who went through the pain of a divorce 15 years ago.

"It was so refreshing to feel that I could relate to God," he said.

The church bought 500 copies of the book for $10 each, and asked their members to give them away to friends. Forty visitors were at the church Sunday for the start of the series.

"The Shack" is an allegory about Mack, a man plunged into despair when a serial killer abducts and murders his young daughter Missy on a family vacation.

Over the course of their weekend conversations, Mack's life is healed as he comes to terms with his daughter's murder and begins to understand why God allows evil.

"The Shack" is an unlikely book to be No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for 32 straight weeks, with more than 5 million copies in print.

It was written by William P. Young, an Oregon salesman, to tell his children how he overcame the pain of being sexually abused as a child, and the shame and guilt of adultery as an adult.'

Talking of Worcestershire...

Shed heaven for enthusiast Tony

From the Express & Star - one of Britain's great regional newspapers...

' An Englishman’s home may be his castle, but a man’s garden shed can be an even bigger source of pride.

Wolverhampton electrician Tony Levy has decorated his with more than 150 machine makers’ plates salvaged from derelict factories, foundries, mills and furnaces that once churned out the products that made the region famous.

His impressive collection, which adorns the shed at the bottom of his Wednesfield garden, includes name-plates from firms long gone and are a reminder of the Black Country’s great industrial past. Father-of-six Tony says: “Some are quite ornate and very old, and more than a few bear the town of origin.

“In essence, it’s a history of metal-bashing at its best. I come across them in my job and cannot bear to see them lost forever. Some people think it’s on a par with collecting manhole covers – but we’re all different.”

Included are a Cradley Steampacket boiler plate, two signs from Federal Electric, in Dudley, and a Bentley sign from a 20-ton press in a Pelsall car components factory.

Tony, aged 58, says: “When I pop my clogs, this lot is going to The Black Country Museum.”

The shed is also Tony’s bolthole, both as an office and a sanctuary from “the wife”, Angela. Tony has furnished it with an old black and white portable TV, writing desk, worktop and cosy chair, and says: “Women have kitchens, men have sheds.” '

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Worcestershire's Shed Heaven

Avoncroft Museum of Historical Buildings - mostly sheds...

Is this a shed?

Shedworld salutes Barack Obama

All Hail, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, the first president whose name includes the word 'shack" in Italian, Portuguese and French. Your name also seems to mean 'whereabouts do you want the barrow work such as?' in Irish.

May our hope not be the reef of your despair.

Shed Religion 2

Something leftover from Christmas...

Shedman feels a strand developing.

In Brighton, where Shedman lives, there was a pretty muted reaction to this. A few shrugged shoulders and the odd question, 'What...?'

Each to their own, Shedman says.

Everyone has a belief system, including atheists. And God bless them...

What do the neighbours think?

It's not the sixty seconds that matters, it's the next five years staring at a Portakabin lookalike through the lelandi....

If shedwork wrecks urban and rural environments, is it really such a great option?

Perhaps when property prices readjust to sensible levels, our desire for land covered in prefabricated panels will decrease?

Find more videos like this on Landscape Juice Network No thanks...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Shedworld and Shedlife - Shedman rearranges his online sheds

After six months' blogging, Shedman feels he's getting the hang of it - after help from Alex at Shedworking and attending the fascinating Digital Horizons 2012 course at Ravensbourne College. (See Where's John? - a test blog for more information...) But like all good sheddies, he's decided to move things round a bit.

So he's refreshed quite a few of the stories, but he's still got the side panels to sort out.

Now Shedlife is where you can tell Shedman what you do in your shed.

And here in Shedworld, Shedman explores the wonderful world of sheds.

The basic idea is that Shedman goes into Shedworld and discovers Shedlife!


The word megashed has been cropping up a lot recently, mainly as a result of the campaign in the Test valley to stop Tesco building a mega-distribution centre near Andover and not far (but not that close either) to megalithic Stonehenge.

Megasheds have been around for a while - especially peeking above the banks of motorways on the periphery of cities. So the protest movement may have been slow off the mark. Magasheds have been the developer's choice for retail space and storage for over a decade.

Shedman once met a man called Shed Wilkinson who was a planner for Ken Livingstone and the Greater London Authority. He reckoned he was responsible for building more sheds than anyone else in Europe, most of them distribution centres around the M25.

For more see:
Warehouse to be one of the biggest buildings in Europe
Protests over supermarket 'megashed' rejected (No surprise there then)
WordSpy: Megashed

ProLogis leases mega-shed to Kimberly-Clark
Stop Megasheds
Dave's Megashed

ArkhStoyanie Festival of contemporary Russian land-art

"The ArkhStoyanie festival takes place in the tiny village of Nikola-Lenivets, hidden in the glorious valley of the river Ugra. The village, located 200 km from Moscow and 'discovered' 17 years ago for the Moscow architect Vasily Schetinin, has long been the focus of close attention from modern art buffs. The small artists' colony which appeared there around 15 years ago, has kept the Moscow public intrigued through photo reports of all kinds of unlikely creations: a field full of an innumerable host of snowmen reaching down the steep banks to the river commemorating the great 'Stand on the River Ugra' in 1480 of Tatar and Russian forces, which put an end to the Mongol-Tatar yoke; a pyramid made of hay; a ziggurat made of firewood; a Shukhov-style tower woven together out of willow wood; a stately openwork lighthouse built out of gnarled driftwood. The man behind these works is the artist Nikolai Polissky, a former painter, and he has been joined by villagers living in the area who have been given a new zest for life.

Pictures from the festival

"This year the project has grown to bigger proportions. Nikola-Lenivets Handcrafts, the organisation which runs the colony, asked leading Moscow architects to design for the site new structures which blur the boundaries between architecture and land art. The only condition of entry was that the structures should make use of natural materials and fit in to the surrounding landscape. A wide range of architects rose to the challenge, from conceptualists such as Alexander Brodsky and Yury Avvakumov, to architects with large offices working on high-profile projects, such as Timur Bashkayev or Project Meganom. The models of the then unbuilt structures were displayed at the annual ArkhMoskva architectural exhibition in early June and received an award for the best non-commercial project.

"Several dozen local villagers took two months to build the designs, sometimes making their own improvements and the results were presented to the public at a Forum on July 29. The guests, who were brought in by bus from Moscow, found a man-made landscape worthy of comparison with Europe's leading sculpture parks.

"A round table entitled 'Five centuries after the stand on the Ugra: the art of reconciliation' led to a heated debate about the social relevance of the festival. Evidence was provided that new jobs had been created, a new Russian school of crafts had appeared as result and that there was a new awareness of environmental issues in design. MAPS regards as the most accurate view of the whole event Natalia Samoilenko, vice-chairwoman of the Potanin Charity Fund's remarks in her opening speech at the Forum about the tragic loss of the heritage of the Russian provinces, where so much was destroyed in the 20th century. The social effect of ArkhStoyanie has been to 'culturalise' the area by creating new attractions for visitors, by uniting Russia's best contemporary architects with traditions of folk craft. ArkhStoyanie has shown how even the most far-flung and depressed areas can be revitalised and given a new direction and is a successful model worthy of being imitated in many other places."

Flickr stream pictures from the festival

Photobucket pictures

Epsilon Photoagency

Totan Kuzaembaev Architectural Workshop

Condodom raft in Archstoyanie 2008 summer

"Sponsored by TDV-Trest. Not only people and pets, but also favourite things, foodstuffs suffer from flooding. All these things should find a place. In our opinion, for this purpose it is better to use boxes (from experience of removal). The represented concept suggests to use these boxes, as a basic element of design of the saving house-raft. Containers as bricks, are put against each other in chessboard order that provides an easy approach to contents. All furniture consists of the containers. Thus, it is possible to ship everything in an ark, that is necessary for a life. The multi-storey stove benches, located along walls of a construction,carry out a role of places for dreams. Tightness of the building is provided by the covering from cellular polycarbonate." Shedman loves this.

Архстояние 2008.Лето from Олжас Кузембаев on Vimeo.

Shed Religion

Shedman has a Shed Envy T-shirt - although he doesn't think it's available on Howies anymore. It drew a lot of comment from wealthier sections of the community during Ledbury Poetry Festival.

Having just finished reading The Shack, Shedman thinks he'll get himself a Shed Religion T-shirt too. Read The Shack and make your own mind up. Shedman thought it was specious claptrap aimed especially at young minds. Since a fair number of clerics of many different faiths have been implicated in institutionalised child abuse, Shedman finds it ironic that the author exploits the reader's sympathies with a story about the disappearance, abuse and murder of a young girl and the aftermath.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Beautiful surfaces

Outbuilding © Preston Surface

Sheds often exhibit fascinating surfaces, like this outbuilding photographed by Surface & Surface Photography, a photography partnership in Kansas -namely Preston and Anna Surface. Take a look at their online gallery.

Shedman asked Anna why these structures fascinate her. "For me, it is the 'character' for each, no matter the state the building is in,' she says. 'Each one has a character about it, even when dilapidated. By character, I mean that a building has a certain resonance and history about it... its personality and story. The old buildings such as barns stir my thoughts. Barns, outbuildings, sheds all served and still serve as shelters for various means as a connection to the life of humanity."

Morning Country Red Barn © Anna Surface

Read Preston's thoughts on their website and see more images on their blog Abstract Reflections.

A man who understood sheds - Andrew Wyeth 1917-2009

'Andrew Wyeth, best-loved painter of wistfulness, rural bleakness, menace, Puritanical solitude and an America lost to 20th-century dry rot, died yesterday morning in his sleep at the Wyeth family estate in Chadds Ford, Pa., between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del. He was 91. He died in just the sort of weather he loved, the empty cold and the sharp sunlight of the dead of winter.'
By Henry Allen and Bart Barnes Washington Post Staff Writers Read more

His painting 'Christina's World' is now something of a cliché. But when Shedman first saw the picture in a magazine as a child it made a powerful and lasting impression as something American, beautiful and mysterious. Mrs Shedman, who has seen the original, says it is spellbinding.

Spring's coming start fishing

Ice fishing links

Beta Shed - Follett's Folly?

Copyright pjs2005 You can see his stream at

A portable airship shed frame in Farnborough, Hampshire has been listed at Grade II by Culture Minister Barbara Follett ('That'll be Ken's Mrs, then," says Shedman.) It was cut in half in World War Two and has been put back together. See the background at The Great War Forum.

Built around 1892-93, the shed in Farnborough was erected in 1910-11 on the site of what is now Farnborough Airport. ('Just run that past me again,' says Shedman. 'Built 1892-93. Erected 1910-11??')

Such sheds were used to house airships, or balloons, which provided air observation of German submarines during World War I, monitoring threats to all shipping, including supply convoys, in the North Sea and the Channel. Only a handful of portable airship sheds are known to survive throughout Europe, and this is the only frame known to survive from the pre-World War I period.

As she listed the frame of the airship shed, Culture Minister Barbara Follett said: "This is a most unusual and unique building and deserves preservation. Only six of these sheds existed at the beginning of the First World War, and this one has housed some truly remarkable examples of British engineering. Its links with the development of early aerial reconnaissance is a reminder of a critically important time in Britain's aviation history and it deserves the extra protection that listing brings."

Pawlett barrage balloon shed

Halley Bay balloon shed

Military balloon shed and huts

The Balloon Shed Episode

Seaplane sheds

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Spring's coming. Get your tractor out.

'Finally got around to moving the haying implements into the new shed,' says Flusher, a veteran member of the world's largest tractor community.

'You can see by the tire marks,' says Flusher, 'that it took me a while to back those implements into the shed. I never have been very good at backing up trailers and implements in a straight line.'

Lantern Shed

A toolshed constructed to look like a Japanese lantern.

'Luminhaus is a family retreat nestled on a wooded knoll in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Amherst, Virginia...' ('Remember Doris Day?' asks Shedman.)

'It was built by Jennifer Watson and Barry Bless with the help of their friends, family and local contractors.

'We have needed a tool shed at Luminhaus for a long time,' write Jennifer and Barry, 'but we weren’t sure how to design it.

'A few years ago Jennifer photographed over thirty backyard sheds for a photographic exhibition. This body of work was called the "Vernacular Backyard." Several of these photos are now part of the Luminhaus art collection. During that time, Jennifer and I spent months focused on (obsessed with?) sheds, backyards, and in-between places. Our movements through the city resembled a Situationist's dérive, drifting down alleys instead of streets.'

"I know the feeling,' says Shedman.