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.love.my.studio. 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

11 comments:

lorelei said...

what a bummer! i was reading and getting so excited for you!
I know something perfect will come along! Hang in there!

mairedodd said...

i think your venture to the studio served the purpose of mentally working through the process of whether or not you do want a space... now the right studio will come along! love the orange socks...

Janet said...

A post of a young woman in search of all who is is and wants to be! Just lovely. While you dig deep you will find what you want and need..and you will find it! The needs for close friendships runs deep and hopefully you can find that someone locally you can connect as a kindred spirit! I am not from the place where we live now and tho I have my daughter have no close friends here. Its nice to have someone who knows us who we are and can relate. But in your quest I believe you may find this and your studio..always this takes time..which isnt easy..ox

Spirited Earth said...

Maire made a good point.
this was a great start to sorting thru what will work best for you.
sharing a studio space after having one all to yourself might be challenging.
being able to pop in the studio
(at home) for a few hours inbetween things is really nice.
perhaps what you need over a different studio is more fun time with grownup artist company..

nicole Valentine-Rimmer said...

Most of what your wrote I say on a daily basis. I am blessed to have two studios at home, a glass and metal studio. I love them both, a LOT! But I crave interaction, sometimes loneliness is what stops my muse I'm sure. Early fall I joined a joint studio, I do all my finishing work there and I love it! I love being a part of something, I love having a home base for selling and shows. My rent is very reasonable, the light is amazing and my fellow studio mates are supportive and fun. In fact I love it so much I'm not doing one of my large spring shows this year, I want to try staying put and see how that goes. Could you keep torching at home and move the rest of your studio into this space?

Laura Twiford said...

This is a really tough decision and you have made some very good points pro and con. I agree with the convenience of being in your own home, able to work and still be there to be home with the kids, cook, do laundry whatever all at the same time, sort of doubling up efforts with the same amount of usable time.. being away from home cuts that time in half. Is there a way to participate in some of these groups, getting you out of the house and amongst kindred sprits and still have your main studio at home? Like maybe a little jewelry finishing area, where you can work putting things together and showcase your work but do the majority at home? Then you might only have a small investment in money and time there. best of both worlds sort of. Just a thought. Good luck in the search!

Copper Diem said...

aaaaah, studio dreaming. I love my "studio" (ahem, garage) too, but that doesn't mean I don't have sketches of a fantasy studio layout tucked away in a drawer.(wait, that was a lot of double negatives). The sketches go with the fantasy beach house. (now i'm starting to sound like barbie).

Brandi said...

There's something really magical about being surrounded by fellow artists. That's what I missed the absolute most when I graduated college - suddenly, my community was gone. And I didn't know how much I respected it and flourished in it till it was gone.

Best of luck to you on finding a new studio! Even though the first wouldn't work, I'm certain you'll find something that will soon!

Lisa Godfrey said...

Once upon a time, a long time ago when I lived in a 1 bedroom condo, I rented a studio space. It was a small warehouse that was sectioned off into smaller studios. There was a potter, a painter, a sculptor, a fashion designer and me (I was doing stained glass mosaics at the time). There were times when it was absolutely amazing. We would pop our heads into each other's spaces (separated by 1/2 walls and curtains) and share ideas and projects we were working on. There were also times though, usually after Christmas and in the summer when we were all in a funk at the same time. I would go in some days and the space would be deserted. When you're looking for a studio think not only of the light and the layout but the energy level and the vibe you get from the people in there. :-) Good luck!

Alice said...

OK, so now you know you really, really, really want a studio. With patience, and some pounding of the pavement, the right studio will come along. It may take longer than you want, but it will happen.

Like you, I miss interacting with people, but sometimes it's nice to be alone and just create. I'm still struggling whether or not to move my studio up to the guest bedroom. But that would mean not being around hubby and daughter, and food...

Stacie said...

I know just how you feel. I have a home studio and love it. I used to have an outside studio, and it was great too, but I didn't get as much work done since people loved to drop in on the 'artist' at work...and I am a gabber so I talked a lot. I found a great compromise though...I belong to a local cooperative gallery and I have to work there a couple of times a month. I have a great venue for my work, I am around people a few times a month, and the gallery opening are fun to attend too...you are surrounded by local artists and the sense of community really helps for those days you need it. Love your work...bought some blue pearls from you years ago and was blown away by your multi-talented self way back then...good luck and hope something that fits comes your way soon!