Studios are working spaces.
While organization and efficiency may provide quicker outcome, natural light and sweet sounds make the creative process flow. So both studios, one for the winter months and the other for spring through fall, have ample light and sound systems that provide the sweet tunes of the day. Northeast facing windows for the early morning winter days and southwest screened porch doors for the spring – fall. The cement floor in the outdoor studio is great for cleanup, but is only slightly better than the ceramic tile in the indoor studio.

The wheel is positioned with my back to the screen door so I can catch nice breezes while throwing. Stacked milk crates serve as bat drying/storing shelves and they’re pretty handy positioned right next to the wheel. The bamboo topped standing wedging/work table is portable enough to bring inside for the winter. A set of 6 Ikea drawers on rollers is set under the wedging table for handy access to rolling pins, pattern stamps, etc. The unfinished slatted pine Ikea shelving units are lightweight, portable and can be re-configured fairly easily as need requires. I keep extra shelves and posts in the big shed, along with the hardware.

The indoor studio serves as the glaze storage room with a glazing table (when I’m not glazing on the wheel). Glazes are organized by some sort of color fashion that occurred gradually, not labeled, but, they’re kind of like your children; you know where they are most of the time. Glaze sample tiles are hung on finishing nails, hammered into an old unfinished 4 foot pine board I found in the big shed.

The kiln shed is only a few years old and was a process to get it up and running. After choosing a shed, arranging for installation, digging a level area, filling with crushed stone, filing the necessary permits, setting up the electricians, deciding who would dig the 2 foot trench from the electrical box to the shed (not me), investigating kiln manufacturers, and tons of research galore – thank you internet – the process progressed. Moving 2 tons of stone was simply an aerobic/resistance activity -(did any of my neighbors show their faces as this little old lady schlepped wheelbarrows heaped with stone ?); moving the kiln to the shed took a bit of creative thinking and cave man engineering; building the shed, installing electrical lines and, of course, digging the 30 feet of trench was left to the strong and more capable.

I installed a slate floor in the shed on the side where the kiln would be located and set up cement board around the perimeter of that side of the shed. The former is a good idea if you don’t have a cement floor in your shed, but the latter was just for my piece of mind (Mark from the Ceramic Shop said the cement board wasn’t necessary). The shed has 3 windows (2 of which were added to the original stock design) to provide adequate ventilation. When I’m firing the kiln, I bungee the doors open; the dogs don’t seem interested and leave it alone, which is nice. I installed particle board shelving along one wall for drying and unloading, and keep plastic containers with inventory stored along that wall. The shed eaves make great little storage areas for stilt furniture. The hand truck is great for moving hundreds of pounds of clay on delivery day.