It sounds so simple. And it is, beautifully simple- at last.
Yet it's taken us four years to get to this point. Four years of hard physical labor, four years of juggling and planning and moving and sweating and spending and keeping 'the dream' alive through it all.
You could say it's been a lifetime in the making . . . Nathan bought our homestead nearly fifteen years ago, with the idea of setting up a studio in the old dairy barn. For better or worse, that barn collapsed.
Nathan finally has a studio of his own. He has worked for half a dozen potteries, and still teaches at a variety of educational institutions. It's been a long time coming to have a place where he could create his own layout, set out all of his tools and not have to pick them up and carry them away at the end of the day. With all of the dust-creating potential of working with clay, he has placed a floor drain in the center of the space and another in the glaze lab (funny things to be excited about, but hey . . .) and his own damp room for storing the pottery he's working on. No more constant monitoring of works in progress with a myriad of sheets of dry-cleaning plastic. These things make him very, very happy.
While I have known the joy of a studio of my own, I have never built one from scratch. Never have I started with a clean slate, with intention, or designed a space that works well for me and what I do as my full-time job.
It's clean and new and bright and I get to share it with the ones I love - man and canine. Our days are flooded in natural light and surrounded by earthly beauty.
The building is still far from finished; we will complete it as we're able. For now, we're happy bringing buckets of water from the house, and going without light fixtures. (The long daylight hours and ambient light from windows above mean we don't even need them.) We built a few adjustable pottery storage racks to get us started, but are still looking forward to figuring out more of the layout as we get a feel for the space.
We're still researching options for heating the radiant floor beneath us come chilly fall weather. The upstairs is still sub-floor and eventually we'll build some walls to separate future gallery, office, and storage. (For now, though, it's a great bunk room for visiting friends and kiln stokers.)
Despite the many things still to do - and there will always be more to do- we are happy as clams in our hard-won new work space.
We're working diligently towards a firing in early July, all the while tackling slab wood cutting and stacking, as well as a few kiln details and readying kiln shelves.
Now that the building is 'done', it's time to get to work!