Here it is, my first blog. It's going to be pottery related. My life is good, but it's really interesting when I'm in the studio. So, that's what I'll share. Writing will be best done right before I leave the studio. But, anyone who is creative might relate to creating being a lot like an emotional burst. I could go for 10 hours, fueled by coffee, and a drive to "grow" my forms. Then, suddenly, as if a switch was flipped, I want to go. If it's colder, I have to suit up, layer all my clothes, and get out on my bike. The ride is only a little less than 5 miles, but it's a perfect way to start and end a studio day. It helps reduce the effects of the caffeine. The ride home requires a climb up Ridge Avenue; a steeper grade to Laurel Hill Cemetery, down a little to Hunting Park Avenue, and then a longer, moderate grade climb to Huntingdon Street.
So, in September 2015, while in Iceland with friends, I found out that my studio building, 915 Spring Garden (915 Arts) was shuttered by L & I. They discovered many, many violations after the Fire Department had to put out a fire on the 4th Floor. There was an unspoken, unwritten rule that we artists did our best to not draw attention to the building by authorities. The electric (which ultimately caused the fire) was bad. The fire exits were behind the doors of other artists' studios. Those artists were "supposed to" keep their doors unlocked, so the rest of us could escape quickly. Fortunately, that never happened. But, looking back, I spent 10 years in that building (5 on the 5th and 5 on the 1st), and I shudder to think "what if".
In October, friends, Dora and Heidi, convinced me to come check out space at Scotts Mills. I really like being in a building filled with artists. We don't see each other much, we don't have to talk, but there's a certain energy that I don't think I'd find if I were isolated in a single studio. Scotts Mills was the right choice. The minute I saw, what would be, my studio; double doors, walls to the ceiling (I like to listen to music and sing while I work), and about 30 feet from the loading dock, I was sold. Rent was right. Electricity was a fixed fee every month.
Over the next 2 months, I was able to get SOME of my stuff out of 915 and move it to Scotts Mills. I lost a lot of material, time, money and creative time because of 915, but as I would soon find out, this move was really good.
Moving my studio put me off my creative path for a while. As an artist, I'm very connected to where I create. I have to be confident, comfortable, and feel at ease. Creating is a personal process, even for less expressive (but quite fabulous) ceramic forms. If I feel the least bit out of sorts, I can't create. I had joined 3rd Street Gallery, a Co-Op gallery in Old City. I had to have some pieces done for a group show in March. So, I had to force myself to work. My kiln hadn't been hooked up. But, I'd find a way.
Enter Marie Weaver, sculptor, potter. She moved in to Scotts Mills in November, I think. She stopped by my studio to introduce herself and say hello. Two hours later, no lie, she left. I was going to drive my greenware to somewhere to fire them. But, Marie let me use her kiln! Problem solved, on top of making a really good friend.