Max Blackmore is a Melbourne-based photographer, illustrator and master of the dark arts of hand-poked tattoos. Toby is his 13-year-old cousin who seems to have life pretty much figured out. Toby has built his very own shed from scratch on his family’s property just out of Castlemaine, right down to a stove and water tank. Max took 35mm photographs of the masterpiece and we asked Toby a few questions about the process.
Where did you get the idea to make the shed?
I just wanted to make a hut. I had this favourite paddock on our property that I liked hanging out in. I’d already made this tree house and I just thought I wanted to make an old pioneers hut. Like an old Ned Kelly house — a proper bush hut.
How did you get the materials?
Over about two years I bought tin from the Castlemaine Landfill ($5 a sheet, an absolute rip off). At the Eaglehawk Recycle Station wood was cheaper but not that great ($1 a piece). I found out it depends who’s working on the day as to what they charge. I think sometimes I might have got it cheaper ’cause I’m a younger guy. I pretty well got the windows for free. I got a whole bunch of wood for $2 at a local garage sale and the treated pine timbers were left over from the patio built up at the house.
Where did you learn to make a shed?
No one’s really taught me. I’ve sort of figured it out. I’ve been around tools for pretty much my whole life with my grandad and my dad and stuff. Some things I learned on YouTube. Like the ammo box wood stove (the box cost $15 from a disposals store).
How long did it take?
We’ve lived here for about two years. I laid the deck pretty early on. The hut developed more over the past year as I got a hold of materials. It would have taken not that long but I’ve had to scavenge the materials and I’ve had to save up to buy screws and nails and stuff.
What do you use it for?
It’s a place to go if I’m bored. If I didn’t have it I don’t know what I would have done with all the time I’ve spent building it. I go there most weekends for a bit when I have pretty much not much else to do. Sometimes family or friends come down and I light a fire and cook snags.
What else do you plan for the shed?
Well I’ve been a bit busy building a chook shed but when I get some more materials and time I’m going to build a verandah and a bed inside the hut.