It's 2020 (which is just wild in itself-what happened to October, November and December??) and I'm officially settled into my new studio. Once the contractors started working, the total process of being able to move in and start actually working in the space took about 6 weeks. I can't believe how fast time has passed, and every time I walk in the door, my heart does a little flip and a huge surge of gratitude and love for this place overwhelms me.
Building out a clay studio in a small 400 square foot commercial space, I very quickly learned, is not so easy and takes a good amount of capital... a LOT of capital actually if you are in a location that has to be to code. I learned all about building codes, scheduling building inspections, how to build out a kiln space in a room where the kiln sits right under the fire sprinkler. (I probably had a dozen nightmares about either burning down the building or having the sprinklers destroy everything in the space!) In the end, everything functions like a dream- I haven't burned anything down and was able to finish out my busiest year ever here.
One of my favorite things about this space is that it is nestled in a little complex that also has a Japanese fondue restaurant on one side of me and an Argentinean Tango Studio across the courtyard. While I'm cozily tucked into my little studio working, the merry sounds of laughter, cooking, tango music and dancing waft down the corridor. It's absolutely wonderful.
Because I have a day job that keeps me very busy, and practice martial arts in the evenings, I work late in the evening and early in the mornings - "baker's hours"- and managed to get it together enough to have a couple of gatherings over the holidays with my previous studio's studio mates and my best girlfriends.
But now I'm looking towards the next steps--- which are to actually be open to the public (sometimes!) and to start hosting workshops, potentially once a month to start. There's a Nespresso maker and a little fridge for wine and drinks ready to go.
And somewhat miraculously, one of my bandmates and best friends has moved into the space right across from me. (!) She'll be doing encaustic paintings and we will start planning out some really fun, special events for the year.
More to come.... I'm really excited to see what the year ahead will bring. And if anyone who might read this is thinking of opening a studio and has questions, feel free to contact me and I'm happy to share what I've learned through the process.
I'm an accidental ceramicist. I never thought I'd end up working with clay, and simply keep learning as I play. It has come to be that my biggest inspirations are my customers, whose enthusiasm and endless ideas inspire me every day.