Studio build 3.0

Studio build 3.0

After working in the pottery studio space for about 5 years it was time to upgrade the studio to match the sunroom. Working longer hours in the studio made ergonomics and efficiency paramount. The wedging table was too high and strained my wrists. The old gray/beige paint could suck the joy out of a sunny day and was top of my list to change. Cupboards were lacking and so were different workspaces for wet work, glazing, photos, etc.  I started reading about studio layout and dreaming of what my space could become.

I read up on work surfaces for clay and settled on baltic birch plywood for functionality, durability, and beauty. I dreamed of Monet’s studio and the bright yellow walls with red, green, and blue accents and I set about testing wall paints. I settled on the sunniest yellow. It’s not great for taking photos against, but it energizes me and makes me happy to be in the room. I found a red stain for the cupboards that reminded me of Monet’s space. I found a green stain for the legs of a wedging table sized just for me. I spent too much time looking at utility sinks and found a stainless steel drop in sink. I reused my Gleeco sink trap from my old utility sink. I drew out my idea for adding counter space next to the sink that would allow rolling glaze buckets under the shelf. I made paper mockups of the studio and moved everything around trying to think of efficiency and flow. I presented my drawings to my husband and we started work.

Every item in the studio was evaluated before it went into the new space. It’s amazing how quickly you pick up random bits and bobs. I sold an old kick wheel that took up too much floor space. I gave my old wedging table to a friend. We moved the shelves built in studio 1.0 to the garage. Things moved to the middle of the room and we started painting. Everyone helped. The kids painted around the outlets and filled spots left by the roller. Adrian and I rolled the walls and wondered if the yellow was too…yellow. The room was so sunny it was a shock, but in a good way. We bought wall cabinets and stained the fronts bright red. Then the pandemic turned the world upside down. The next day my brother died suddenly and I had to head home to be with my parents. I couldn’t even think about the studio but my husband kept working away and hung all the cabinets before I returned. 

The birch plywood arrived and we turned the garage into a wood shop. Counter frames were built, sanded and stained. Counter tops were cut and sanded. The dream took shape through our grief. I can still hear my brother talking to me about what to put on the counters and I just wish he could see how great it all turned out.





Spring break came and with travel plans on hold the studio build could happen while we “vacationed”. It all came together quickly. We added shelves above the work table. Equipment went into place. The extruder was mounted on the wall. It suddenly looked like a dream and everything functioned better.





I don’t think I say it enough, but my husband Adrian makes all of this possible. He is my rock, my bourbon cup tester, my mug man, my clay hauler, and the best contractor-framer-sander-painter-electrician-plumber I could ask for. Without his support I would still have a wheel in the corner of a carpeted storage room. I couldn’t ask for more. I probably should make him some more mugs….  




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