studio building : framing and roofing

Last week was a cold, but very sunny stretch here.  We were able to make big progress, nearly completing the diagonal framing, including these beautiful gable ends.  (Sort of reminds us of the windows at the Stone Mountain Arts Center!)

This past week also brought the installation of our first windows!!  We can't get over the view from up there . . . and the way the cupola adds to the building.  We love it all.

We even got the roof done!  (Good news because we've had a very winter-y mix of weather in the days since.)  Nice to be all buttoned up on top . . . kudos to the roof crew - Nathan, Bob, Caleb, and George.  I stayed firmly 'grounded' and passed panels, closures, caulk, screws, flashing, fascia boards, and ridge cap their way over the course of two and a half days.  (Feels GREAT to be done with that portion of things, and loving how the gray color ties in with all our other buildings!)

We are hoping to wrap this new studio up (like a giant present!) this weather-filled week, install windows and maybe even doors, start some siding (?!?) and finish a couple of other details before the holiday.

We are excited for the things still to come: a slab floor downstairs, insulation in the roof and walls, cozy radiant heat, and, oh, making pottery.  Soon!



studio building : ten days in

It's really quite hard to believe we're only ten days into building.  (With wood, that is!)  It is amazing what can be accomplished when you combine time, drive, passion, skill, experience, determination - and the threat of impending winter!

This past week brought many productive days, during which we put the purlins onto the rafters, as well as framed for- and built- a cupola.  (The floor with ladder hole (below) is just a temporary platform from which we built the cupola, whose main purpose, besides adding a bit of visual interest to the building, is to flood the new showroom and the upstairs with natural light.)

The views from up there are AMAZING!  (And we thought our kiln chimney was tall.)  We sort of wish it could become a reading nook or some such thing, but hey, the aforementioned natural light wins out for now.  Plus, we can't wait to be throwing pottery at our wheels on the ground level, and look up through the opening in the floor straight up to the sky!

We were also pleased to begin some diagonal framing, an aspect which makes George's buildings very unique.  Instead of putting the studs at right angles, he cuts them at 45 degrees.  They remain 16" on center, which meets building code, but creates a rigid and economical structure, and eliminates the need for sheathing - saving money and lots of toxic glues.

We enjoyed learning more about the process of diagonal framing, and appreciated the many years of experience George brings to this approach.  (He has a good head for math, as you can imagine!)  It is a beautiful end result, one which uses far less lumber than a conventional structure, and will contribute to less overall setting of the cellulose insulation we plan to blow into the wall cavities.

Nathan and George also took some time to build a reverse gable on the north wall. (photo below)  There will be entry doors there, into the showroom, and we wanted to ensure the snow sheds well.  We also think it makes for an appealing entrance!

If all goes well, this next week will bring framing of the lower level (where our workshops will be), roofing (metal), cupola windows and siding, and perhaps wrap!  We are also looking forward to windows and doors and eventually - before Christmas?! - ship lap siding.  Wow!

It's funny how hard it is to reflect on this project in a bigger sense - we're so deep IN it now.  I'm sure reflection will come later . . . but there are plenty of moments when we come up for air, take it all in, and feel downright giddy at the prospect of working in this gorgeous space, on our land, towards our shared passion.  Having the chickens clucking and scratching about the yard is more than just scenic - it's a nice, grounding feeling - that we're headed in the right direction - towards our "pottery farm!"


P.S. We've decided last minute to have a Holiday Open Studio and Sale next weekend, December 15th, from 11 am 'till 4pm.  Hope you can join us!And yes, we'll be most certainly giving tours of the new studio!

farm weekend

When our neighbors asked me to care for their animals over Easter weekend, I jumped at the chance.  (Crazy as it might sound, we have future farming ambitions of our own . . .)  And since Nathan was 'working out'- as we sometimes refer to our off-farm jobs- it would give me a great excuse to stay at the homestead, hide my pottery business to-do list, and start a long-awaited farm project of my own.  At the neighbors barn, I bottle-fed three newborn kids at regular intervals, and fed and watered 12 angora goats, 1 draft horse, 30 chickens, two dogs, and four cats.  What fun.

Between feedings, I uncovered a stash of salvaged boards from the old collapsing dairy barn Nathan dismantled ten years ago, and began putting them to new use . . . as our chicken coop!  Everything about it was a joy, most of all knowing his work of saving these relics hadn't gone to waste, and using what we had on hand to build a structure that will bring new life and food to our home felt great.  Not to mention the fact that I get much satisfaction from swinging a hammer, and my four-legged sidekick loves having new things to climb on.  (I promise you I don't try to deliberately include Lego in every photo . . . he just likes to be quite close at all times, and as a result, simply ends up in nearly every shot.)

Oh, and just a quick editorial note . . . when my dad saw these photos, he said "so the coop is right behind the kiln shed?!"  Nope, that's just where I'm building it.  It's actually on skids so we'll be able to drag it around the fields for fresh pecking places for the hens!