This February/March 2024 issue 113, we visit a whole bunch of sheds around NZ and in fact all around the world. We start with a profile of the talented Auckland sheddie Chris Elliot.
Chris has a small shed in Central Auckland from where he restores Italian scooters and cars, well, cars that don’t take up a lot of space such as Fiat Bambinas. With a background in movies and TV set design, Chris is never idle and not only restores all the Italian autos he can but gets his creative side going with household artefacts as well. One talented sheddie.
Jason Burgess writes “A cinematic late-afternoon light pours through the corner window of Chris Elliott’s vest-pocket shed. The miscellany of collected artefacts, fabric, and vehicular memorabilia conjures up a neat yet cluttered bazaar in some exotic foreign land rather than an active workshop on the fringe of Auckland City. This concrete single garage is a celebration of creativity and productivity. Swinging a cat – or, for that matter, a hammer – might seem problematic in such confines but, when it comes to fulfilling a wide array of job briefs and cross-disciplinary commissions, Chris somehow makes things come together.”
The first law of shed dynamics is: The need for shed space will always grow to exceed the space available.
With space at a premium, it is incumbent to make the best use of it. So I evolved an idea for a modular set of moveable cabinets that could be rolled out for each job and configured as required. It means I could easily house my commonly used tools and still retain space in the shed.
Shaugn Briggs’ shed is a 6m x 3m pop-up gazebo and heavy-duty groundsheet. And that’s just on a bad day. When the sun is shining, the Christchurch limestone carver works alfresco, with the sky overhead and surrounded by trees and music.
The shedless sheddie’s “workshop” consists of a pile of portable Ryobi benches and an assortment of tools in stackable plastic tubes. When not stored in the single garage at the end of his drive, they are loaded on the trailer he tows around to various working and teaching venues.
Shaugn, who is also an accomplished painter, started his working life, somewhat reluctantly, as a painter and decorator. “The art thing was all I ever wanted to do but there is always that pressure to get a proper job,” he says.