Hi friends! Has it really taken me this long to post something? Wow, I'm terrible at website upkeep. I'll try to be better about it -- I promise! My intention with this blog is to get a little more in depth with aspects of my studio process, write about new pieces I'm making, share cool events I'm participating in, random projects, miscellaneous ceramic-related things, who knows what else? There's a bit to catch up on since I started this site, but I'll summarize.
It's been a really busy 12 months for me. I have been in 3 different studios and moved twice. Last fall I had a cute little apartment in Bellevue with a living room studio. No kiln, no big sinks, just a work bench in a room and a mop to clean the floors. It was quiet and nice but quickly getting too small. I needed a space with a kiln on site because my production was increasing and transporting greenware to kiln facilities became exhausting and nerve wracking. I had heard about a studio/gallery space that some friends were opening up so I went and took a look at the spaces. I met up with Susan (owner extraordinaire) and the moment I walked into Shockoe Bottom Clay, I had to jump in and move my studio there.
I left northside, moved to Church Hill and moved my studio to Shockoe. It was beautiful! A recently renovated historic building with original hardwood floors, 15 ft exposed brick walls, a slab roller, several kilns and a gallery in the front. It was a dream studio. I got super cozy there and was getting a lot of work done. My house in Church Hill was only a mile away so it was a convenient little walk filled with pastries and coffee (why are there so many bakeries in Church Hill?! I'm not complaining...but seriously? why are there so many?).
Fast forward a few months, the landlords of my house started making plans to sell the house. Come on, really? Trying to figure out the best decision to make regarding moving houses, staying in the studio or moving to a house and creating my own studio....we started leaning towards finding a new place altogether. We? Did I not mention that part of the Church Hill move was one of those 'moving in with the boyfriend' situations?
Coincidentally, around this time, Shawn (the boyfriend) had started taking some ceramic classes and immediately got hooked on clay. He took to wheel throwing very quickly (I'm kind of jealous..) and since he had so much trouble finding time to practice, we figured it would be best to set up a home studio together. He bought a wheel, we found a house with a garage and a property owner who was cool with us installing an electric kiln and we moved to southside at the end of June.
The garage hadn't been used in a long time, there were lots of dead ivy vines that had grown through the siding, holes in the walls, lots of cobwebs and some left over junky stuff from previous tenants. There was quite a bit of work to do to get the garage studio up and running: cleaning, reorganizing, painting, digging and installing electric lines for the kiln, getting more equipment, etc. It might be hard to tell from the picture, but there's a section on the side that is perfect for glazing and glaze mixing, there's a window that's perfect for venting the kiln and cement floors perfect for getting messy.
Time has been a challenge to work with since I continued to have sales nearly every weekend, the fall season was quickly approaching and moving almost always takes longer than you expect it to. But after 2 months, the studio is finally active, the kiln is plugged in, I got a slab roller and just bought 1300 lbs of clay this week. I am so excited to have such a multi-functional space just 20 feet from my house. It has been an exhausting year of moving. I sincerely hope I do not have to for a while. 3 studios in a year is way too much!