my new studio
I don't want to gripe about how long it has taken to have my own studio space since moving from Maine.
Actually I do.
Because it has been an epically long time. Otherwise known as four years.
And a lot can happen in four years. Like an Egyptian revolution, five seasons of Downton Abbey, Detroit going broke, Jefferson County going broke, Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" happening, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber continuing to happen, Lady Gaga really happening, 98 school shootings happening (yes, I'm shocked by that number, too, but I counted them on wiki), Osama Bin Laden getting killed, the biggest earthquake and tsunami in Japan's history, Lance Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France wins for doping, Lars learning to talk, walk and ride a bike, my marriage ending . . .
. . . and my studio sitting in storage.
And here's how that happened: When Gerald and I moved to Maine in 2007, I didn't know what to do when I grew up besides make things – which is a pretty broad spectrum since there are a lot of things to make. So I doodled in our living space, not taking anything I made too seriously.
Until I took a screen printing class – the skies opened up, seas parted, angels sang.
Or at least I knew I wanted to screen print more.
But screen printing requires big equipment and a water source, neither of which I had. Most landlords frown upon their tenants re-purposing the bathtub for artistic endeavors, and screen printing equipment is too big to get up a residential staircase. So I used a local studio where the skaters and stoners printed.
Until we decided to adopt baby Lars and buy a home with a basement and a garage. Yes!
I converted the basement into my screen printing studio and took over the garage for my designing and sewing (because who needs a garage for their car in Maine? It's not like it snows a lot there).
And then Gerald decided he wanted to move back to New York.
So in June of 2011 I sold the house, packed up my studio, put my cat Suki and baby Lars in the car and moved to Hudson.
And that's where my studio has stayed – in a storage unit in Hudson – besides a short stint at a studio space in a brick factory/mill that had an (apparently) un-repairable leaking roof, which resulted in my stuff going back into storage.
Then in June of 2012 I bought a farmhouse and started renovating. Three years later the house is finished and they have been able to start on my garage/studio. "They" being the amazingly talented duo Kathryn and Mike Whitman of Quatrefoil, who designed and built my home and have taken me out for nachos when I needed to vent about my divorce and other luxury problems.
Anyhow, the downstairs of the garage is where I will be screen printing – once I get a sink installed. And that is another epic and fairly boring story. The only important thing is that it has taken nine months (and counting) and mountains of paperwork to get a permit to put in the water line. Rumor has it the town I moved to is the seventh most difficult place in the country to get permit approval. But I'm not complaining.
Actually, I guess I am. I mean, come on. It's just a friggin sink.
There, I'm done complaining.
So, until my sink is installed, I will continue to print at the Womens Studio Workshop, which has actually worked out really well because I get to hang out with an awesome group of talented ladies.
And the upstairs of my studio space is now finished. And it looks amazing. And I love working there. Because I can play music as loud as I want, which is super important because it helps drown out all my negative mental chatter when I'm working. I also have natural light, tons of space, a view of grass, trees and the two bunnies that camp outside the studio...pretty great.
And the best part: everything is out of storage.