Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Posts Tagged ‘equipment’

Summer in the Studio

Posted by C Scheftic on 2012/06/08

It dawned on me t’other day that it’s been a while since I gave a progress report on my studio. Here’s what it looked like recently, between when I finished getting pieces down for the Three Rivers Arts Festival and taught my next workshop there.

The slightly warped look to the image is because I “stitched’ together several individual shots, trying to include as much as possible at one time.

I still love the sense of space from its 13-foot tall ceilings, the north-north-west facing wall of windows that allow in so much light without having to deal with with many direct direct rays, and the tree just outside that lets me feel like I’m working up in a delightful aerie!

I’m gradually earning enough to permit me to indulge in a few more bits of furniture. Yep, I’ve still got a few more adjustable-height chairs on the wish-list, but we manage to shift around so everyone is comfortable (if necessary, borrowing some different-height chairs from the community center for a few hours now and then).

The “blue kiln” is shown here on a wheeled cart, so I can move it to a space with adequate ventilation when I fire it. Also on the wish-list is a good ventilation hood, which I plan to hang over the cabinet in front of the air conditioner and vent out right over that — since I can’t run both the kiln and AC at the same time anyway…. (My “silver and white” kiln wasn’t in the room when I took these photos.)

The other little table over on that side is my finishing station, the place where I polish up pieces after they’ve been fired. The white table in the middle (rear) is set up with lights so I can try to take photos. (I’m still waiting for the return of the little stand that holds them at a much better angle….) The two long tables in the middle are set up for a workshop; when I’m there on my own I spread out all over them to make my own creations. The various cabinets on the left hold a mix of personal tools, workshop supplies, books and magazines, and even a few finished pieces on display. The table covered with a blue cloth is still serving as a bit of a place-holder. I have a china cabinet at home that I keep thinking I’ll move over to the studio for holding the pieces I want to put on display (thus getting those out of the white cabinets) with some storage space below it. Some day….

In the lower-right corner are a few baby aloe (“burn relief”) plants on top of the little refrigerator (with a real freezer compartment, for storing chunks of Hadar’s Clay that I’ve mixed up and not yet used). Next to it is a rolling cart (you can just barely see its handle) that holds (lower tray) my tumblers (one each of rotary and magnetic) and (upper tray) all my patina doodads. With those on a cart, it’s easy to just roll the whole set-up to one of the sinks across the hall.

The long “chalkboard” area is in a bit of disarray: I still haven’t gotten it set up quite the way I want, but it’s even worse than usual because I haven’t “cleaned up” after all the prep for the Arts Festival. And I won’t even try to deal with that until I get everything back, and can organize my various display elements. I’d never get anything made if I stopped to sort that out all the time.

Speaking of making things, the pieces in the dehydrator should be ready for their next steps, so I should end this post now too.

While I do that, you may want to see what the building looks like on a late-spring (feels like early-summer) day … and night. (Yep, I also love how the building lights illuminate the tree outside my aerie at night!)

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Thanks, Kathy (and Jeff)!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/01/06

Don’t GrayC (for “gray cat” but pronounced “Gracie”) and Bailey (named for Bailey Ave, overlooking the Monongahela River, from where he was rescued) look like they approve of the gift Kathy & Jeff got me for Christmas (delivered early this year)? Or would you say they think the wrapping was the best part?

The gift itself is a (rather old, used, but still working) Excalibur dehydrator. I normally just let my metal clay pieces “air dry” myself. For classes, I’d used the “low tech” solution: a hair dryer jammed into a small opening cut into a cardboard box. But Kathy is a somewhat avid Ebay shopper and, this time last year, I’d asked her to keep her eye on them and let me know if she ever found one that looked like it might be going at a reasonable price. She found this one right when I was feeling overwhelmed by the expenses in setting up new studio. Good friend that she has been for decades, she just went and bought it herself, as a gift from her and Jeff. I can’t wait to try it, especially for a whole class-full of pieces: Thank you!


p.s., The flowered rug on the floor was the gift my mother and I gave to Kathy and Jeff at their wedding. I bought the materials, and Mum hooked the rug.

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