Chippendale recalls his time spent with Fort Thunder, an independent DIY space in Providence, Rhode Island. Find an excerpt of the article below and read the entire essay at The Creative Independent.
Our lease-free month-to-month 7,000 square foot space had a large cavernous side where the shows happened and bigger projects could be worked on, plus a music practice space, silkscreening area, kitchen, and a bike repair zone. The smaller side contained the library and living quarters where most of the six to twelve roommates built their rooms. The rooms were crafted from whatever we and the cats dragged in; found wood (mostly pallets), paper, cloth, cardboard, plastic. Anything that was cheap or free. If there is one thing that every broke warehouse dweller knows it’s that wood pallets are the cheapest wood you’ll find; available and plentiful.
My room was a large, sealed, mountain-looking thing made from drywall, plywood, and wood pallets stuffed with old clothes for insulation and sealed with wheat pasted paper to keep the drafts out. Beneath the lofted area of the room was a hallway crammed full of stuffed animals, paper, clothing, toys, and all sorts of other debris attached to every surface with a variety of hand-wired lamps weaving through it. It was truly a hungry fire’s dream shanty.