The Oriental style shed - A fine artist's idea takes flight

Some say the Monarch butterfly is the most beautiful of all the butterflies. After you have read this article you might agree with me that the Oriental style shed built by Preston Fox is among the most beautiful of sheds

The lifecycle of this Oriental style shed has many similarities to that of the Monarch butterfly

The lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly goes through four separate stages; Moving from Egg to Caterpillar to Chrysalis and finally emerging as a beautiful Butterfly.

An idea is born

oriental shed The beautiful Thai style shed

The idea for this shed was born when Preston Fox, a fine artist from the town of Hull in East Yorkshire, UK, was on holiday in Thailand. Whilst there he was impressed by the variety of the local architecture. At home he found that so much architecture is similar and mass produced. However in Thailand even simple structures such as bus stops had a huge variety. Incorporating carvings and a variety of construction materials

One particular element that attracted Prestons' attention was the curved and multiple roofs that were used in many of the local buildings.

Preston has lived the life of an artist for the past 15 or so years

Retraining from his original profession as an industrial gas engineer in his mid-forties, Preston completed a three year degree in fine art and continued his career creating pieces for display in galleries and for sale to the general public.

And so now in his early sixties and with his idea captured by the concept of Thai architecture and their beautiful double roofs and curves he had to do something. This egg of an idea had hatched and transformed into a caterpillar.

On his return home the Caterpillar started to munch through resources

oriental shed Preston ironed out the form of the shed by using a model

The resources included time and materials. The materials for the oriental style shed included plywood for the walls and individually cut shingles from feather edge boards for the roof. This shed was a lot more resource hungry than the average shed but then the end result was to be more like the Monarch butterfly than your average cabbage white.

As you can see from the picture the appearance of the shed in the caterpillar stage was fairly plain but as it munched through time, materials it took up more and more space in Prestons home.

Preston lives in a flat you see and this became the Chrysalis for his shed

oriental shed The shed roof takes shape in Prestons living room

With no outside space to build, the construction had to take place in his living room. The pictures show how difficult this must have made life in this small flat. For some people there is no stopping the creative urge and so for the period of 2 months the living room was full of oriental style shed roof and doors.

In the living room of his small flat the raw materials of the structure transformed from being like an ugly caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly.

The only problem was that butterflies can fly and sheds can't

oriental shed View of the completed shed

Building a shed in the living room of your flat and not having a garden to put it in might be a problem for some, but as a fine artist Preston was used to finding homes for his creations. After being turned down by two garden centres nearby, The Evergreen Garden Centre in nearby Bilton came up trumps. The owner of Evergreens have some mature landscaped gardens to the rear of the business premises where customers can visit to get inspiration. And it was here that Prestons oriental style shed found its home.

Preston is pleased with the way that the shed fits into the landscape and also with the way that visitors interact with his artwork. Children enjoy going into the shed to investigate and also clambering out of the trap door that is built into the floor.

It really is the right place for this building he says.

What about the future for this species of butterfly shed?

A shed such as this is never going to be able to compete on price with the 'bog standard' sheds that are sold by the major retailers. The oriental shed is more costly to build than something mass produced and has had time and creative passion poured into its design.

However there is always a place in this world for beautiful things and if you have the habitat for a shed of beauty such as this let me know and I will forward your details on to Preston to sort out the details.

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