Carl Wiens
September 2009
Back to Work
The kids are back in school.'s quiet!

Now I can get some work done.

FCPA for Time magazine
Here's a gathering of spots from the past summer.

Tinnitis for More magazine
Is there a slight ringing in my ears?

Blogospere for Christian Science Monitor
That's it for now, folks! There's work to be done.

Pluto's Reprieve for Bostonia
Studio overhaul
The old barn, with the studio on the upper floor. Drop by any time, but remember - first you'll have to get past 'killer'
I grew up working in construction. Learning how to build is an important asset for me. I use it when I put an illustration together, and it really helped when I built my studio space.

When we bought our house I looked at the out building, an old corrugated metal and wood barn, as a potential knock-down. My brother pointed out the concrete foundation and the relative squareness of the structure, still solid. I rented a studio space for a short while and spent the summer planning and framing the studio on the upper floor, converting the space from an old hayloft. That was eleven years ago.

I liked the layout of the building, so I left the exterior intact. The inside, as you can see from this shot, was a different story. I decided to re-frame an inside shell, and put in plenty of insulation.

The roof of the building is a perfect 45 degree pitch, so I was able to get very high ceilings. I also echoed the line in the stairwell and storage areas that are built into the space. I used recycled storm windows that were left by the previous owners to let in lots of light. I was also able to pick up some used glassed doors for next to nothing.

I asked my dad, the pro, to build a winding staircase. It's a real space saver and it's a beautiful stairwell. I must go up and down this thing about 100 times a day.

I've changed things around a few times. This year I did a major overhaul to get rid of some of the detritus that accumulated over time. I put in a nice antique cabinet to hide away some of the odds and ends.

Clean and shiny
I worked with my friend Mark Guildenhaar, a talented furniture designer, to design and build a computer desk over 15 years ago. That desk has followed me around through a couple of moves and I sit at it every day.

The view from the stairwell. The computer desk sits behind the bookcase.
I know this is cheesy, but I painted a compass on floor. When I first moved here, my sense of direction was a bit off-kilter. I've sorted things out since then, but I like to think it keeps me pointed in the right direction.
The view from my chair


I picked up this old government light table for next to nothing at a used office supply store when I moved everything in. It is solid wood and absolutely indestructible.

It's great to have a space away from the house and kids, and the commute is a breeze. Pants must be put on, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
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