Monday, July 14, 2008

Practicus In The Studio: Studio Heating And Ventilation.

        The warming and ventilating of studios is a problem which has to be solved in many ways, these bring dependent upon the construction, aim, and position of the building and the means of the owner, for it is obvious that what will suffice for the small “portable” type of erection inadequate for the large, solidly-built apartment, is which the more fortunate among; us are able to work. There are, nevertheless, certain general principle which must to toasted no matter what to the aim or design and the owner of the little studio should carefully consider what to can but do with the son appropriated to the purpose before parting with it. Among these I would put evenness of temperature, cleanliness freedom from injurious fumes, and economy of fuel, the latter being likely to be more important in the future than it has been in the past.
        The position of the heating apparatus should to carefully chosen, as much depends upon it, and, above all, the error usually made by builders of dwelling houses should to avoided that of placing the stove at the end of the room opposite the door, in which position it create, a draught of cold air and only warms a limited area, giving rise to the complaint that one is frozen on one side and roasted on the other. In warming a studio it is desirable that the store or radiator should to place near the door so that the air is warmed in its passage into the room. In studies which have a glass roof and these are still in the majority - the stove should to placed under the glass, so near to the side light ea possible, as not only to this the coldest side by reason of them being only one thickness of glass as a barrier to the outside temperature, but that the warm air ascending to the roof may rout any snow which may fall upon it I have often known work to be stopped by a thick layer of snow on the glass and in attempting to remove this by mechanical means the glace may be broken, an unpleasant state of things in midwinter.
        With regard to the heating apparatus, there it a wide choice ranging from a boiler and steam or hot water pipes to a portable oil stove, and each has its advantages and drawbacks. On the whole, I have found hot pipes the most satisfactory way of heating, and there if possible, should to run the whole length of the studio close under the side light, a shelf or flat piece of wood should to placed above them, and the front should be screened with wirework (as ornamental as may to), fixed on frames which can to easily removed when the pipes require attention. This screening hides the unsightly appearance of the pipes and does not interfere with the heating; in fact, the top strip or shelf serves to distribute the warm air more evenly. If the pipes are left exposed they must to painted, and it is important that oil paint should to avoid: not only will it emit an abominable odour when it is heated, but it rapidly darkens and becomes unsightly. Although a dark colour is the better radiator of heat, I consider that on the whole paint made of finely-ground aluminium in celluloid, which is sold for die purpose to be the best coating. If any other colour than silver required matching the walls, a useful paint may to make by grinding powder colors of the desired shade in beer, stout for preference. I have not tried Government ale for this or any other purpose, bat I for that its adhesive properties would be too poor. The beer colour is used for painting the funnels of steamers which get rather hotter than the average steam or hot water pipes. It must not be thought- that such an installation is vary costly affair if the existing types as used in greenhouse are selected. They may be had in all sizes, and the makers will estimate for the complete outfit if the cubic contents in the studio in feet are given, with the temperature it is desired to obtain. It is necessary to point out that in severe weather the fire must be kept going night and day, not only that the studio may never lie allowed to become cold, but to prevent the water freezing and causing fracture of the pipes or an explosion of the boiler.
        A useful modification of this system is to have separate radiators, each of which is filled with water heated by an atmospheric gas burner. I know of several studios where they are giving every satisfaction, although a reduction of the gas pressure sometimes lowers the heat to an undesirable extent; to minimize the risk of this the supply pipe should be of ample proportions. A large pipe does not imply a large consumption of gas, but it secures an adequate supply when the pressure is low. When using this or any other system in which gas is burned in the studio, efficient ventilation must be arranged for, or the fumes will cause lassitude and even illness. For small studios one or more of the well-known siphon stoves may be wed with advantage. In these there is a large central Argand burner flanked by two metal pipes which not only serve as radiation but condense the products of combustion into liquid ions. These stoves are economical in use and have a cheerful appearance. Two would probably be sufficient for a 20 by 12 studio. Open gas fires are cheerful looking, but rather costly for continuous use; they have also the disadvantage that unless well fenced in there is danger of clothing and drapery being set on fire, a danger which is also present with open coal fires, and one not to be ignored when children are about.
        Closed stoves for coal, coke, and anthracite are very useful in the studio, but most of them necessitate either a brick chimney or an unsightly stove pipe. Of this group, those burning anthracite are the most desirable, as once started they will burn continuously for months if supplied with fuel. Thus the studio does not get cold during the night, and there is no trouble of fine laying each morning; all that has to be done is to empty the ashpan occasionally. The older type of slow combustion stove known as the " Tortoise " burns coal, coke, or cinders, and may also be kept continuously burning. Although this may seem wasteful it is really not so, for there is no necessity to make up a big fire every morning to warm the place up on a reasonable time, while the wood, paper, and labour required for lighting are saved.
        In certain circumstances oil stoves are the only possible heaters available, and if a good pattern be chosen they are not to be despised. The tall, cylindrical pattern, with a bail handle by which it ran be moved about, are very convenient, and if kept, clean, is fairly free from the odour of the oil. The salamanders, or blue flame stoves, are very effective, but they are mean looking and cannot be shown in a well-appointed studio. I have, however, used one of these in a fancy east-iron tore made for gas, and found it quite satisfactory. I have also found that one of these placed under the darkroom sink rapidly raised the room to summer temperature, the sink itself being warm, while the solutions were easily brought to normal temperature by placing the bottles near the lamp. If it be possible, when fitting hot water pipes, to run a (bend into the darkroom, it is, of course, better in every way than an independent stove.
        From heating the studio to keeping it cool is but a step, and in most people's minds keeping cool and ventilation mean the same thing. This is hardly so, for a studio can be perfectly ventilated and yet kept at a high temperature it may be filled with foul air at a low one. The essential point in ventilation is to have the outlets and inlets for air properly proportioned and placed in such positions that straight-through currents- from one to the other cannot be produced. In single-slant and other studios which approximate to an ordinary room the ventilation can be provided for by opening windows if in convenient positions, or Tobin tubes may be provided as air inlets; as a rule, the inlet should be fairly low and the outlets high. The Tobin tubes, which admit air in such a way that no draught is caused, are of the simplest construction, being, nothing more than long, flat boxes of wood or metal, say, ten inches by three, in section, and about four feet in height. They are placed flat against the wall, and at the bottom have an opening to the outer air equal in. area to their own inside sectional area, with a protective grating. The top, inside the room, is left open, so that the air on entering has a tendency to rise and becomes evenly distributed. Four such tubes are sufficient for a moderate sized studio. The outlets should be of the ordinary grating type, with mica flaps placed high in the walls, so that there is no accumulation of hot air in the roof. For very hot weather a large flap opening should be provided, as high as possible, at both ends of the studio, so as to permit of a free draught from end to end. It is necessary that the coverings should not permit light to enter above the backgrounds, and this can easily be done by fitting inside louvers after the style of a Venetian blind. This is a better arrangement than having a lifting sash or trap-door, as is frequently seen, since the current is more perfect, and there is perfect protection against rain. Of course, there must be a hinged door or shutter inside or outside the louvers. This arrangement is supplementary to the small mica flap ventilators, which are sufficient in cold weather. Small electric fans are very useful for keeping the air in motion in very hot weather, but are not available in many places. The roof of a studio should always be double on the dark side, as this prevents heat from being radiated from the outer roof, which in a north-lighted studio has the full midday sun upon it. In positions where the sun strikes upon the glass it is a good plan to have a long iron pipe, perforated with small holes, running along the entire length of the glass. This is connected with the water supply, so that the glass can be flooded with a gentle stream which quickly evaporates and reduces the inside temperature to a considerable extent. It is also very useful for keeping the glass clean. A flood of cold water is harmful, as if turned suddenly upon hot glass it is liable to make the roof leaky if putty is used for glazing, as it is in the majority of cases.
        Much may be done to give an appearance of coolness by the choice of suitable colors for the wails. Green or greenish grey looks much cooler than red or even buff, while ferns, palms, and other plants assist in producing the same impression. One of the most refreshing arrangements I have seen consisted of a passage opening from one end of the studio fitted as a rockery, with ferns and a trickle of water over the stones. Such surroundings produce a tranquil state of mind in the sitter and tend to the success of the portrait. I have also seen a side window opening on to a dingy mew, turned into a miniature rockery, with a tiny fountain .with goldfish in a lake about two feet across at the bottom. These ideas may not accord with those of the "highbrow" artists of to-day, but they please the average sitter, and that is what we all strive to do.

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