Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Minimal Studio

So, I was thinking about how I could find a place to work while in Arizona.

I "took a class" at the local county community recreation center last time. Independent work was allowed for advanced students during the session time, but I found it really didn't suit me.

Too frustrating. Limited access, limited time, no control over the rhythm of the work, cramped facilities, people with 'issues', noisy work area, finding my work moved, with finger pokes. It absolutely drove me crazy.

I know.

It's me; not them.

I like a quiet, peaceful workplace. I don't want conversation. Even though I LIKE people, I don't want them around while I'm working. I find I'll spend more time talking and joking than working and come away feeling like I haven't accomplished the goal I'd set up to achieve.

I want to concentrate on the work. Persnicity? YES!

I want to be able to work whenever I feel like it, not on a schedule.

Sometimes I like music, sometimes I like absolute silence, but I want to control it. I like classical music when I throw or build pieces and ZZ Top, Wagner, Rossini, Queen, the Beach Boys, or a mix I call 'Smokin" when I glaze.


We went to the local clay company to check out the price of kilns and supplies.

The possibility of setting up a kiln in half the garage had been considered. Earlier that week, we had looked at a used kiln for sale and found that it had been stored outside, was partially dismantled and there was no way to plug it in to see if it functioned. The price was 50% of a new kiln. Iffy........

The supply place was having a sale. The 2009 prices hadn't kicked in yet and the model I was interested in was already discounted plus they were running a discount on top of that. I had a gift certificate. The stars were aligned.

The new kiln is now installed in my garage. Instead of a stationary kiln-stand, I was able to buy a steel one that is on rollers, so I can move the kiln against the wall when it's not in use. Sweet.

I had brought my portable slab roller with me and had located a large folding table.

We checked out Craig's list and got a set of steel shelves from a company that was going out of business.

After running the kiln seasoning firing, I'm now happily putting kiln wash on my shelves.

Bliss awaits.


Jerry said...

Woo Hoo!!! That is so exciting. Congrats with getting all of that set up. Have fun...

One day in the not too far off future, I want to get a small space set up in the basement for myself. Far from ideal (very), but at least it would be a start.

clayartist said...

Hey, Jerry,

Make a start! Every little bit toward your own studio is very empowering!


Patricia Griffin said...

Wahoo! Looks like heaven to me! You're there... Hey, your mobile kiln stand may solve a problem for me... Where does one find one of those?

chaetoons said...

Your description of working in an environment full of "others" was dead-center to my experiences of the same! I love people and enjoy being around them. But not when i'm working! For the very reasons you expressed.
You didn't mention where in Arizona you are? Used to winter in Arizona (Quartzsite) all the time -- love the winters there.
There's some potters just north of Quartzsite (Shalome ??? maybe?). Don't know anything about them; had just noted that they were there in the vicinity of Q.

clayartist said...

Patricia, the stand on wheels may not be a Skutt product. I can't find it in their inventory list.

You might call Skutt and see if they make it, though. Could be a new thing.

Otherwise, Google Marjon (clay supplier) in Tucson, give them a call and see where they got it.

Chaetoons, Quartsite--I think I had lunch in Quartsite a few years ago.....funky kinda restaurant with all kinds of funny little signs...