Mischa Baka: Michal Imielski
Showing posts with label Michal Imielski. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michal Imielski. Show all posts

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Building a studio with Mehow.

October 28, 2018 0
Building a studio with Mehow.
(Studio Build Mischa Baka)

Mehow was evicted from an old primary school. The school had accommodated his creative practice, a small arts community and a beautiful creative chaos for about seven years. My brother had recently constructed a kit office in his back garden. I was feeling the anxiety of never having a home I could call my own and always paying rent. So I said, ‘lets build a studio in your back yard! From scratch.’ I was thinking the process would offer a sense of security in knowing that at least I could build a structure, if not own a home.

I loved that Mehow was open to such an idea. It would still cost a lot to buy the raw materials, and we would be taking a risk in assuming we can do it all ourselves. I love that Mehow is prepared to take such a risk. I think this is why we have always been friends; a sense of possibility has always existed between us.

I learnt how to use Sketch Up. I used Australian web sites to find the standards for a timber build, found the pieces on the Bunnings website, put the dimensions in Sketch up and placed them together into a structure.

I showed this to Mehow, he liked what he saw. I would come back to Sydney in two months and we would build it.

I came back to Sydney and had not put all the changes into the design, I had been discussing them with Mehow as more restrictions and council policies become clear.

We went to Bunnings with a laptop and showed our design to a trade specialist. He was very nice, and basically redesigned my design in his head and then walked around Bunnings putting together an order for all the things we would need. This included timber, tools, safety gear. It came to about $4000 and it was only the start, mostly what we needed to build the floor base. And now the design was mostly in hour heads, having changed it in conversation with this guy. We were keen to do it, so we just went with it. It was a tiring shopping trip though, it went on forever. By the end I was exhausted.

The build began.

Mehow had an old friend help us level the first bearing in the timber floor. His name is Paul. He knew what to do and we gladly listened. We made a square frame form the outer bearers, then chocked them up to level, we used some steaks to hold it in place, attached stirrups, then lastly, concreted the stirrups in place.

This was all made much easier by having pre dug holes, made by a guy earlier who came in with his little digger.

First sense of accomplishment.

That moment when the concrete dries and timber frame feels solid and anchored to the earth. A kick to a timber sends a vibration down its length that says, I’m here, this is my spot, and I’m part of the place now. It’s very satisfying and unlike any feeling I’ve had before, you feel a sense of a place becoming. People look at a building and it has permanence, and in this moment that permanence arrived. Being anchored to the ground connects the timber to place and time in a way that is more than human, it is solid, it is now of that place and must weather the time of that place.

I would love to make a film with construction as part of the central story. I think people find a lot of enjoyment from watching something being created. The tactile practical process that shows how it’s done, how it comes together. I think the human brain loves that feeling of , ‘ Oh, yes, this is how the world works, this is what happens when that material is mixed with that material in that way.”
It’s god like.

I remember this thrill when I made dolls. I remember buying all the raw materials; silicon, plasticine, plaster and chemicals. All in white nondescript industrial packaging. I loved how abstract it was. I loved that the materials meant nothing to an outside eye. But that soon these materials would be brought together in such a way that a little personality would emerge, a small doll. I love that feeling of the materials being abstract, useless by themselves, strange to an outsider, and yet intent, purpose, meaning, hidden within them. It’s the only type of consumerism that excites me.

One of the glowing dolls with Rachel


Mehows friend Majid has been helping, he is knowledgeable and great to work with.

Other moments while building that I like

Shuffling around drilling holes into the timber bearers we would accidently knock some clay bits into a watery hole, it would sound like poo dropping into water and we couldn’t help but laugh at the familiar sound. We made sounds of relief in response.

Drilling screws into the timber bearers with Majid. It’s like a little dance. One holding the two bits of wood together, the other aligning the driver and screwing the screw in. We were alternating between two types of screw with different heads, so there would be a little process of passing one bit to the other person while swapping it out. Also preparing a screw for the other to drive in.
Sometimes from Majid’s perspective above a beam he could see my intended alignment for a screw was a bit off. He would take my hand and reposition the screw, a simple adjustment that felt like a little duet, strangely intimate. And strangely physical in how we each navigate the structure, the mud, and each other with our bodies trying to get the best position to do something; drive a screw, or place a stirrup.

Mehow was very ambitious and wanted to build two studios at once side by side. It was obvious that we wouldn’t get them both built in the two and a half weeks I was available. But we did manage to build one floor, and the main frame for the other. I admire that Mehow continued on building without me and with the aid of other friends. I’ll try to come back in a month when I find the time and help with the finishing touches inside the studios.

Studio build Michal Imielski