So for the first ever Joyful Clay 'blog' entry, I wanted to show you my workspace. This studio/shed was years in dreaming and several months in the making, and it's finally here. It is an 8x8 Amish built studio, custom designed by me (when I told them I wanted a sliding glass door, they looked at me like I was insane!). I wanted it to look something like this, a shed I saw online:
We stuck it on cement footers on our not-so-slightly inclined back yard, fearing the weight of the kiln might make the whole thing slide right down the hill into the ravine below. I shellacked the heck out of the interior floors using about four coats of deck sealant. My husband and both of my kids chipped in to build the deck and paint the shed to match the house, and voila. A studio is born.
Months before the studio came to fruition, I began collecting equipment. My wheel was first, a Shimpo electric that I found online previously well-loved at a great price. My kiln's story is similar, though it was a bit of a risky purchase. The price couldn't be beat, but it is a Sno Industries kiln, which is now a defunct kiln manufacturer, so replacement parts will be harder to come by. But it is in pristine condition for its age: the tiles are solid, no cracks, no damage. And she has proved to be a beast so far, getting up to temperature without issue and beautifully firing my pieces.
I have a friend that refinishes furniture, and one day word got out that she and another friend had taken a bunch of wood pallets and built a 'potting bench.' This news came serendipitously as I was searching for a workbench that would be sturdy enough to handle all my clay wedging, as well as hold several hundred pounds of clay to be stored. I was so afraid that it would sell before I had a chance to buy it from them! Luck was on my side, though, and for the price of a few promised pieces of pottery the bench was mine. I had to make it a tad shorter, and added a thick piece of MDF to create a smooth workspace, and it has worked out perfectly.
My studio is exactly what I had envisioned and hoped it would be. And it has taken so much to get it here: from the support of friends and family listening to me grumble for months about my struggle with my homeowners association to get the shed approved, to actually planning and ordering the shed, to having family help get my kiln from some remote county in Maryland (thanks dad!) and bringing it to my house (after months of storing it in his garage-- thanks again Dad and Jennifer!). But my biggest thanks to my greatest supporter, my husband Marc. It's because of him that I'm able to live this dream, truly. Thank you! xo.