Friday, December 31, 2010

To What's Been & What Will Be

holidays day 29 :: a toast

I am hearing an awful lot of squawking about what a crappy year 2010 was for people. Yes, the economy sucked... no doubt sales were down for many. Yes, there was extreme weather all over the world... blizzards, monsoons, and earthquakes of plenty. Yes, a lot of snooty celebrities let us down with their piss poor personal behavior. It isn't 2010's fault, though!! You can always find some awesome-ness in a year, right? And can't one good thing cancel out a dozen bad? I think so.

Tonight, as I raise a glass to toast the coming year, I will be celebrating the passing of what was a pretty amazing 12 months...

January - I realized the importance of tending a creative flame.
February - Brought to my door the results of nearly a year and a half of work.
March - Had me feeling like a grown up beader/professional teacher type when I started creating kits.
April - We spent time in a wonderland like no other.
May - Took risks and dreamed bigger than I ever had before.
June - Shared with you where we spend our days and oh how my alter ego loved that!
July - Had a conversation with the month in hopes it would meet me on some common ground.
August - Reminded me that you can never jump off a dock too many times.
September - I absolutely loved sharing my passion with amazing people.
October - Found me overseas for an adventure of a lifetime.
November - I thought hard about the things I need to remember to tell him.
December - Had me making the choice to invest in a dream and connect to life with my whole heart.

I can't help but wonder what wonderful moments the new year will bring. But for just a few more hours, I plan to revel and be thankful for the blessings that this year gave me. See you soon... on the other side.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Key and Doors

christmas afternoon 4
(my mom made us pajama pants)

The slow pace that is Christmas Break has settled into our home. The mayhem of the big day is behind us and now, a whole lotta not-much is ahead. We have never been big on celebrating beyond the simple family get together. We keep it low key (though, remind me to tell Ron to pick up some champagne for Friday night!). One family party on Christmas Eve, hosting at home on Christmas Day, and then an afternoon party with the other side of the family on Sunday is all that we had on the schedule. Each year, I always hope we will get invited to a fancy company party or posh twinkle light fest that requires a babysitter. Some how, it never happens... I can't say I am too disappointed. Our holiday always ends up being just what we need. On a side though, I could have done with a little more snow. I am not happy about the east coast stealing our blizzard!! We don't have nearly enough to go sledding, dang it.

But, back to the not-much-of-anything we have going on until January 3rd... naturally, I have nothing but the new studio on my mind. I am daydreaming about fabric for curtains, and counter top for a cool metal base-cabinet that Ron found (for free!) for next to the sink, and OH! the table layouts (what in the world will they be?), and I am imagining the first project I will make once things are moved in. It also has me reflecting a bit on what I have been making of late, which is another big not-much-of-anything. I recognise though that with what I have been handling the past few months, that isn't a big surprise. I am so so excited though to finally have the time and space and opportunity I need to play and explore and create... more. I am making sure to savor it, this glow of possibility, and make sure I don't get caught up too much in the making-it-just-right. Wait, what? Who me? Getting over focused on making something perfect? HA! Oh yes, I must be mindful that functional is just as good as perfect to start.

It is kind of interesting looking back at the year that has been and think of the year to come. I like to compare the feelings of different seasons and watch how they cycle within their cycle. I have said before that some new years bring with them lots of intentions to resolve (though a resolution maker I am not), some come with nostalgia and wistfulness and a feeling that the year might have been wasted, and others come with a great energy. Last year was full of intention, oh yes, and an impatient eagerness that danced around the release of my first book. This is definitely an energy year to come for me. I can feel it and it is invigorating! A lot of the fizz of invigoration is coming from the knowledge that it is all going to happen because I am going to make it happen. I hold the key to possibility, and this year, I want to unlock every door I come across.

christmas dinner 2010
(From left to right: Andrew, Jacob, My Dad, My Sister, Lauren, My Cousin's Girlfriend, My Cousin, My Mom, and Ron.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Counting Christmas Eve Blessings

holidays day 17 :: warm glow
holidays day 22 :: you are getting sleepy
holidays day 20 :: wrapped with love

I can hardly believe today is Christmas Eve! It seems like just yesterday I was making a million beads to head out to BeadFest. I remember quite vividly a phone conversation in August with my good friend Cindy where I said "before we know it, it will be January". I am so happy I decided to slow things down recently. January isn't here quite yet and although things are still moving fast, it isn't an overwhelming pace. All my Momma-made goodies are under the tree, and I was even able to work up a few extra things for some last minute guests that will be sharing dinner with us. Our evenings have passed playing family games together and watching Christmas movies. It has really just plain ROCKED! Christmas spirit is everywhere!

The other day, while I was helping with wrapping Santa's load of goodies, my mind just kept thinking the word blessed over and over. We are so blessed to have our health, while some of our close family members have been given difficult diagnoses recently. We are blessed to have each other close. We are blessed to be able to provide such a wonderful Christmas for our children each year. My own blessings are too numerous to mention. But I will say, one of those blessings is pretty freaking exciting, and I can't wait to share it with you in the new year.

Gosh, thinking about what an amazing year this has been, I can't imagine what more I could ask for. Nothing really. Except this...

I wish each and everyone of you a wonderful holiday and incredible new year.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

She Gets It

christmas crafting 2
christmas crafting 4
christmas cooking 2
dancing girls

This past weekend, Lauren was quite the Christmas Elf. She has been working for weeks on handmade goodies for each of us, and had one last gift in mind for Daddy. While he was out on an errand, we pulled out the sewing machine, and tada... he has a bag to take treats to work in. She was a baking fool too. She insists on doing everything... rolling the dough, cutting it, putting it on the cookie sheet, and despite a very tired Momma wanting to go to bed, we were frosting cooled cookies well after bedtime. And truly, is there anything better than dancing by tree light?

These are memory making moments. I hope to hold onto them, year after year, and I hope she does too. Her brother broke my heart the other night. We were talking about gift giving, and how all the gifts currently under the tree are handmade. I asked him what he was making. He asked if I would take him to the store to buy gifts. Again, I said, make something. He said he would rather be given a candy bar than a drawing on a piece of paper. Oh how mad/sad/disappointed that made me. Tell me it is just because he is 13. Tell me he will come back round to appreciate the things we make for each other. Until then, I know she gets it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I can hardly believe it is really happening... I mean it is really, truly, absolutely, I-already-gave-them-the-check-and-signed-the-lease, happening. I am renting a studio... yeah, I said it...

I am renting a studio!

This has been something I have talked about for, um i dunno, like, forever. In fact, two years ago when we moved into this house, I made a dozen phone calls about it. Even had an appointment or two for tours. But, alas, I let the doubts get the best of me, and the appointments were canceled, and the dream was put back into a place of impossibility. Not. This. Time. This time, I made the appointments, and kept them. I filled out the applications, I negotiated the price, and I made it happen. I have been excited in a reserved way for a couple weeks about it. I was thinking something might come up that made it fall through, but OH, last night... I was kid-on-Christmas-Eve-gonna-overdose-if-I-don't-wake-up-to-a-million-presents-and-ain't-gonna-get-a-wink-of-sleep-because-of-it excited. And today, while driving around town, I kept screaming "I'M SO EXCITED!!" Because, today, today, I got to be in the space, take photos, sign the paperwork, measure stuff... and it is real.

Now... without further ado... I give you a quick look into my new space.

elevator shaft 2
studio 1
studio 2
studio 4
studio 7
studio 8
studio view 1
the hungerford 2
the hungerford 1

I am feeling so very tender about this. During my sleepless night, my thoughts ran the gamut. Everything from what color the curtains will be to intense anxiety/fear over finally doing this. The tenderness I am feeling comes from wanting to protect this little room. I am scared people will snicker and point and tease my new space. I love it so. It doesn't look like much now, but there is a laundry list of things that the super will be doing to it before I move into #307 in early January. The ceiling will be painted black, as well as the window frames, the walls off white, and the hardwood floors will get a coating of industrial gray. These are standard colors and anything different I would need to do. I am loving the idea of leaving it industrial and making it *me* with pops of color, the accessories, and furniture. We talked about electrical outlet placement, and there is to be a sink put in. I am going to scour our local craigslist for a mini fridge and a microwave. Oh, and I want to check out the local architectural salvage shop for some base cabinets to make the kitchenette. The doors need some care and I'll be painting those myself once they are repaired. I can't wait to hang my banner on the door too!! And that pole in the middle of the room... I need to get myself four of these beauties. Wouldn't they be perfect? Hmmm, I wonder if Santa reads my blog? OR, better yet, maybe I could make glass ones... though I don't think soft glass is strong enough to hang coats on...

But I digress.

I truly can not express just how much this room means to me... on so many levels. Being with Ron since I was 16 means that I have never had anything that was mine. Just my own. I never bought a car without someone, or had an apartment, or went away to college, or or or... This though, this is mine. And maybe it is selfish of me to want something of my own? Part of me thinks so, but the smarter part knows that I love my husband, and my kids, and my home, and something that is just for me isn't a bad thing. No doubt, they will spend many an hour in this place too.

From a business stand point, this place is going to make so much more possible for me. I will be keeping regular hours at the studio (planning to arrive by 9am and leave by 2:30pm at least 3 days a week), and now... drum roll, please... I can teach lampworking!! Not to mention getting to interact with humans on a regular basis again and being in such a vibrant living breathing place. I start grinning just thinking about it.

I hope you'll stay with me here as I share the journey to getting the place ready, the feelings I have along the way, the things I create in this space, and what new adventures will be had. I know I can't wait...

I thought y'all might enjoy a few links about the new studio space!!
The Hungerford Urban Artists - I can't wait to sign up to be called one of these and get the official sticker on my studio door. And here is a link to an article about one of the building events: ART - Hidden Hungerford
First Fridays Rochester - I plan to take part in this monthly event and my goal is to be ready by the February First Friday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Icicle Love

icy drip

I absolutely gasped when I downloaded icicle photos this afternoon and saw that I caught this drip. I love it. We are up to our eyeballs in snow, the fire is oh-so-toasty, and I have a seriously huge grin in my heart. I am feeling so much more connected to things (life/family/love/holiday) right now. I hope you can find something that sets you a glow today too.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

From the mind of an over-thinker...

holidays day 6 :: every little thing

I think to say that I have been feeling out of sorts lately would be a vast under statement. For the past several months, since July to be exact, I have been living in what feels like repetitious holding patterns. I waited months to hear about a job that I didn't get, then I waited months to hear news of another possible project, then I waited at home for a month while my son switched schools. If there is one thing that I know about myself it is that holding patterns do not become me. It lends me to being an over-thinker, always trying to balance thoughts and see both sides of things. Then, often, in doing so, I have trouble figuring out what exactly *I* think/believe/want. Ask me something and my impulsive answer is probably my opinion, but it is that sitting and waiting with thoughts that lets a lot of doubt creep in. I have been having to do that a lot lately... sitting and waiting with thoughts. And OH how the doubt has crept in.

I have tried to make the best of it. I have been trying to listen to my heart while waiting for this or that. My heart has shown me that I have a craving for something more... and there are several mores at that. I am not at all sad or depressed or in need of medication... I am just trying to find my way... my path. But what path? Right now, in this moment, I feel that any path I choose starts with a huge leap of faith, as if the path I have been on has lead to a cliff and the only option is to jump and trust I can fly. A very dear friend sent me this text today, "Then maybe not a leap of faith, but putting one foot in front of the other on a path you began to traverse long ago? It's had scenic views and side trails, but hasn't the journey been about finding yourself in a creative life since the beginning?" She is completely right. My path has had majestic views, in the past 7 years I have dreamed and accomplished things that a younger me would never had thought possible. And I wouldn't trade the side trail adventures for the world. It IS all about finding myself in through a creative/created life.

On the first day of Reverb 10, the prompt was this: "December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)"

As soon as I read this, my words came to me. Not my One Little Word that I chose to seek out throughout the year, but one that fits what the year has been and what I hope for the year to come. Stirring is my word to encapsulate 2010. I choose it because it is what best describes what I have felt for much of this year. I feel a stirring in my being/heart/soul. I think that I have been feeling it for sometime and until now, I haven't really been able to put my finger on what it is I have been feeling. But, yeah, it is a stirring. I have been sleeping through too much of my life, going through motions on auto pilot, and not taking the time to know/understand myself. This year, more than other, I have felt the hand on my shoulder shaking me awake. And that makes for hope for 2011 Awakening. I want to awaken to possibility of what this creative life of mine can truly be. I want to listen/live/love with my whole heart.

It is scary... completely terrifying... if you ask me while I am over thinking. Impulsively, it is exciting and exhilaration. Sitting, waiting, and thinking... doubt creeps in. Change is needed though. I feel that through and through. It has already started. You are going to find me here less, but more when I am. I know that I need this place, and I need the friendships I have made through this place. But, I won't be writing just for the sake of hearing my own voice. What is here will have more substance to it. Substance is another good word. Overall, I am will be "online" less to connect more with myself and my life as it is happening. I fear I have been numbing myself to what I feel through mindless hours in a virtual world (thank you Brene Brown and The Gifts Of Imperfection for that wake up call). I signed a contract today, too, to do something will push me in a different way creatively... more on that soon. And I made a phone call this morning to claim a studio space all my own. Change is gonna be good.

Thank you... for listening to my over-thought ramblings, and for staying with me no matter where my journey leads. Thank you friends.

holidays day 7 :: express yourself
(making a snow angel)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Winter Web Update!

 winter web update

I have updated my website with new pieces! There are new Knock Out Necklaces and a Bevy Of Bracelets, if you are interested. If you find you would rather see Just The Beads, Please... there a new focal beads there! I hope you like them!!

Throwing Love Out There... Randomly

holidays day 3 :: all you need is love

:: i can already tell that this is going to be one of those random mondays where i know there are loads of things to tell you, but mostly likely, i will suddenly forget everything... oh well.
:: the view from my desk this morning has me feeling like i am sitting in a little house inside a town scene inside a snow globe that someone just shook up... love it.
:: unfortunately, friday's trunk show was a major bust! happens to the best of us. turns out the night was competing with another even (wine walk) the following night as well as an rpo fundraiser concert in that town.
:: i don't mind that the show was a bust, i will post new jewelry on my website (which hasn't been done in age, sorry) and maybe y'all will find a treat or two for yourself.
:: last week, my best friend's grandmother passed away at 93 years old. 93 wonderful years is nothing to mourn but rather to celebrate.

kelly and kerry 1

:: i can't tell you how much i treasure getting to spend time with my bestie best kelley. she like a big sister and i miss her already. (can't believe it has been a year since we were together last!)
:: working diligently on my picture the holidays photos and love love loving feeling more connected to moments throughout my days.
:: oh, speaking of which, the top photo is of jacob's hands while out hunting for our christmas tree yesterday to go with the prompt "all you need is love".
:: and the bottom photo is of something new i learned... how to make heart shaped bokeh. i should mention, i learned first what the heck the word bokeh meant. the photo is of our christmas tree lights... so pretty, yes?
:: through picture the holidays, i have been turned on to reverb 10. i am hoping to write some posts soon from some of the prompts there. wonderful wonderful things to think about there.

heart bokeh

:: we are getting walloped with some major lake effect snow. we have a solid 10 inches now and should have another 6 inches by tomorrow.
:: have i mentioned how much i love the snow?
:: i have been working behind the scenes on a couple of exciting jewelry related projects. i hope to be able to reveal a few soon.
:: oh?!? i made a new holiday banner, lol... not that it really matters, but i like having three sets of five random things and that just got me one closer to the last random comment...
:: here is hoping the kitten doesn't decide to climb the christmas tree!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Holiday ArtWalk TONIGHT!!

Tonight At JOOLZ

If you are local, come join me at JOOLZ tonight from 4-7pm for the annual Holiday ArtWalk. For those of you too far away to make it, I will be posting new pieces on my website next week. Stay tuned!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Dear December

holidays day 1 :: holding on to gratitude

Dearest December,

I must say, when you arrive on our door step each year, I am always surprised how quickly you got here. Wasn't I just visiting with September the other day? My stars, how the months do pass. I know too that your visit will feel shorter still. The hubbub of the holidays make your days such blur and you blend them together in a way that, somehow, makes days fly while gifting us with moments that we can truly treasure at the same time. I think that is what makes you so lovable. It isn't just the gifts we give each other on the 25th, but the gifts our hearts receive when open to your warmth. Truly, despite your frigid temps, you radiate amazing warmth. I love you, December, and I am so happy you are here.

I gush though, and I must get down to business before you are gone. I have been meaning you ask you something. What do you think it is about twinkle lights that puts a twinkling in our eyes and in our hearts this time of year, D? And I don't want to hear that silly line about a "magician never reveals his secrets" either. How is it that the coldest days make me curl my toes inside my socks, swaddle myself under another blanket, hot cocoa and peppermints at my side, and although I should be cranky and condemning the snow, I have a grin from ear to ear? How do you do it?

You know what, I just decided that I don't want to know. Keep your secret magical ways to yourself. Knowing how the trick is done always makes it less exciting to see again. It was bad enough having to hear about Santa when we were kids. Christmas morning was never the same after that until I had children of my own that brought him back to life. Now we are inching ever closer to losing him again. So... NO... I changed my mind... don't tell me how you work your magic on us. Forget I asked.

Today I am going to be starting to decorate the house all merry and bright. I will tune the radio to seasonal songs, and stay in my pajamas all day long. I will move furniture around to make room for our Christmas tree and drag lots of boxes up from the basement that are over stuffed with tradition. I can't wait to see my favorite ornaments again and our old star. Do you remember the sock we embroidered on Lauren's first Christmas? Oh, and the pickle Jacob made with the sequins on it? Ron always hangs the golf ball ornament and Andrew has already made a couple of giant 3d snowflakes for the windows. I was kinda silly the other day. I had already hung all the lights on the house just before Thanksgiving, but when I plugged them in on that Thursday, I just wasn't happy. So, Monday, I took them all down, promptly returned those chilly blue hued lights back to the store, and got myself some new old style lights. I am positively giddy about them. Lights need an aura that glows, and oh how the new old lights glow.

I have no doubt that I will spend many of my hours with you putting some love into handmade gifts for this family of mine over the coming weeks. Honestly, though, my ambitions aren't too great this year. The boys are getting to the age where they rather unwrap video games than Momma-made pajama pants. I am okay with that. I know it is just a stage, and they will come back around eventually. I am still going to make them carry the tree to the car when we cut it down and they will have to ice cookies if they plan on eating them.

Anyway, I am rambling now. See, see, what I mean about your tricks with time? Suddenly my first morn with you is gone in a blink and yet I have these few cherished moments of reflection that makes me feel like the morning lasted forever.  You are such a clever fella.

Yours every year,

ps... I just thought I would mention that Christmas lights in the rain actually make me a little sad, December. So you can start dishing out the snow anytime now. I won't complain about a few feet of fluffy stuff one bit. ;)

(just a few hours after this post...)

dear december's answer

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Twisted Tuesday - Holiday Special!


Forgive me this shameless self promotion, I just gotta say, I think Totally Twisted: Innovative Wire Work + Art Glass Jewelry (by Yours Truly) should be on every beader's wish list this Christmas!! With the holidays officially upon us, and as an author experiencing my first Christmas with my first book, I can't help it, I am biased, I know. To celebrate the season and to help stuff lots of stockings with copies of Totally Twisted, I have marked signed copies down 20% on my website.

So whether you have been holding off getting a copy for yourself, or you want to gift a copy to your best beady girlfriend, now is the time to order!! Shipping rates are the same: US Residents $3.50, Canadian Residents $8, and Everywhere Else $12 ( sorry I can't make it cheaper, books are heavy!) And I am happy to sign the copy to whom ever, just note it in the comments when checking out.

Now, for those of you that already have a copy of the book, and have been eagerly waiting that new kit that I hinted at a few weeks ago, it is here!! You can now order kits for UNHINGED! (photo of kit beads below) This is truly one of my favorites. I love making these beads and I love making this bangle. You can read all about the origins of this design in this 2008 blog post. This would be a great starter project for a newbie wireworker too. If you are gifting a copy of the book, this would make a great companion gift (hint hint)!!

While you are checking out all the Kits & Supplies, Oh My! on my website, you'll see that the 4 kits I launched earlier this yeas have been marked down too!! I have taken 10% off of Bang Gals!, Delightful, Framed, and Timeless. All because I love you guys and I am so thankful for your support and for making 2010 such an exciting year for me. Thanks so much to each and every one of you. This sale will be going on until December 31, 2010. That way, if Santa doesn't get everything on your list, you can come back and treat yourself to something special :) But, I hate shameless self promotion, so I won't be mentioning this again until it is about to expire!!

Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas!!

unhinged beads 4

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Bit Of This And That

bauble necklace 1

:: these pieces are called "bauble", "ball bin", and "popularity", respectfully
:: beads for a black and white version on "bauble" are soaking in the kiln as we speak
:: looking forward to the trunk show at JOOLZ on friday from 4-7pm, who's coming?!?
:: maybe the twinkle lights at the the trunk show will boost my holiday cheer, it is rather lacking so far this year
:: i want some snow, dang it... said in my most whiniest of voices

ball bin necklace 1

:: hubby couldn't sleep black friday morning and decided to see what goodies could still be had at 5am...
:: i have a new laptop! and windows 7 is intersting, hmmmm
:: said laptop does not yet have photoshop on it, so pictures maybe lacking for a while
:: where the heck did i put that photoshop disc?
:: decided i don't like the l.e.d. lights i bought for the house, i am taking them down this afternoon and going back to the classic ones... they have a prettier glow

popularity pendant

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Mint Julep

Mint Julep 1
mint julep 2
mint julep 3
mint julep 4
mint julep 5
mint julep 6
mint julep 7

Yes, yes, I know it is suposed to be Twisted Tuesday, and I missed Random Monday yesterday. There is just too much going on around here and something has to give. Even now, I am only popping in for a second to share these photos. I finished another piece, A Mint Julep, for next week's trunk show. I am loving it!! It was inspired by a vintage pearl necklace that Lauren has been sporting lately.

Gotta dash. ~K

Friday, November 19, 2010

Brought By The Breeze

brought by the breeze 1
brought by the breeze 3

That weather system that blew through here with its blustering winds brought some new jewelry with it. I have had spirals on the brain lately and decided to give my stringer work over to the almighty swirl. I can't begin to tell you how incredibly meditative it can be to sit at a flame melting fine strands of glass into flowing coils on the surface of a bead. *sigh* I made a dozen and a half hollows with just such a decoration and wired them into this pretty new Fall inspired necklace. I love it. There are several new colors of glass that I hadn't previously had the pleasure of working with found in this piece. The rusted red orange color is called Hawaiian Clay, and there is some CiM Plum and Transparent brown in there too. Add that pop of minty grasshopper green and I think you would be pretty hard pressed to find a more quintessential Fall color combo.

I think I have lost my jewelry making mind because... well, I actually can't get earrings off my mind either. You know me, I usually detest earrings. But, today, I love them. I dove into some new techniques and etched the metal for the first time this morning. I swirled the metal too... and that metal is sterling, in case you are wondering. I cut, cleaned, designed on, etched, cleaned, cut, patina-ed, and cleaned again to make those swirly little discs. Aren't they sweet? With those two little persimmon glass headpins, I dare say this makes a delightful set. Just different enough to hold their own, and similar enough not to fight each other for your attention. I like it when pieces play so nice together :)

You should be seeing lots of new pieces of jewelry in the next two weeks. Francie at JOOLZ asked me to stop by the shop for a trunk show on Friday December 3rd from 4-7pm during the annual Holiday Artwalk. The artist she had slated for the evening canceled last minute... and I am very happy to fill in. If you are local, I would love to see you in Canandaigua that night!!

Until then, I can't wait to see what else the breeze brings this way. 

breeze brought earrings
breeze duo

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Batten Down The Hatches

tuesday afternoon

It is a horribly blustery day with all kinds of wind and rain. This morning my friend Lindsey came for a visit and we sipped on homemade Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and knit for what was too short a time. My frugal hubby had a coupon for Panera and we had buy-on-get-one-free salads in an absolutely bustling dining room for lunch. Yum. After running some errands, one of which was to get my hands on the latest issue of Artful Blogging, I came home to a whisper quiet house and toasty warm fire. My brain is being racked by the desire to debunk a difficult new wire link design that won't leave my imagination. Yet, my hands find they want to manipulate something other than wire... a wee bit of pen and paper. The other night, Andrew and I were looking for something and I came across my college sketch book. He was in awe, I was hyper-critical. I wonder why my drawing eye is so critical, nothing is ever good enough... yet, I still want to draw? It is whisper that I hear getting louder lately. Who knows where it will go... no matter the destination, I hope I can find ways to enjoy the journey. For now though, we best be battening down the hatches here...  we will be making some onion soup and settling in for a night full of howling winds.

rusty doodle

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - Studio Dreaming

studio corner

For the past, um idunno... like, three years, I have said no less than one bazillion times that I want to find a studio outside my home. A place that gets me out of the dungeon basement and into a more vibrant environment with other artists. Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly thankful to have the space that I do. It is big, it is convenient, I can visit it in my pajamas if I want, and it is mine all mine. I think it is real, true, human contact that I am craving more than anything. (That, and passing the monstrous pile of laundry I should be washing sucks.) I want to be around others that share a passion for art and build a sense of community around that. I am starting to get lonely having no contact with anyone but those that send emails to say hi. Which I think is leading to an overall funk that has me avoiding "working" more and more.

This past weekend, I visited a cool place where Anderson Alley Artists gather. Photos today are from that visit, and they don't do this space nearly enough justice (I had the wrong lens on my camera, oops). This building is an old warehouse/factor place that has been converted to lofts that are used as art studios. The size of the studios vary by what floor you are on, the second and third floors have rooms on either side of the hall, where the forth floor studios are much larger and are just on one side. And in most of the studios, there are a few artists sharing the spaces, making the already low rent, very very affordable. Many of the artists participate in something called 2nd Saturdays as well, which opens the building up to the public for studio tours and shopping! I found out via a jewelry acquaintance that there is a potter/painter looking for a studio mate which is what had me hopping in my car for the short 15min drive over to there to check things out.

studio windows

When I left the building Saturday afternoon, I was completely torn. This space has a lot of positives, and a couple of pretty hefty negatives. I don't think I need to list the positives, just look at the space!! A few of you glass workers looking at these photos might see pretty quickly one of the challenges of the room... that LIGHT. The sun in this building is absolutely amazing. It just floods every nook and cranny, but for torch work, that much light can make it very difficult to see the flame. In my home studio, a part from a strand of twinkle lights, and a spot light in one corner, I torch in the dark. Okay... curtains would solve that problem right? Right.

So, I had a really great chat with the artist already using the space and was all set to go visit the studio again and take a few measurements when a part of our conversation got stuck in my head. Again, with that light coming in those HUGE south facing windows (there are actually two huge banks of windows in the studio), the room is completely unusable in the summer. The heat is just too intense to work. I thought at first, I could work at night, or I could put in air conditioners, or or or... but come on, I work on a 2000+ degree torch. It is already hard enough to torch in the summer let alone when in a room that can reach more than 100 degrees.

I decided as beautiful and awesome as the place is, this one, I need to let go. (Hey, if you are local and don't mind the light and heat, and want contact info on this studio, zing me an email!) This experience, though, did really reaffirm for me just how much I want this. So, the hunt is on. There are a few other options around Rochester that I am looking into... Hungerford Urban Artisans (no website available) is one, and Rochester Contemporary Art Center is another.

There are a few other arguments against a remote studio that I need to contend with still. Will I want to travel there when there is 3ft of snow? and What will I do in the summer when the kids are off from school? are two big ones I need to think about, but I will cross those bridges when I get to them. For now, I am still rearranging studio furniture in my head, envisioning the possibilities of an amazingly inspiring space, and wondering what I can do in the meantime to get more human contact in my life...

studio entrance