I have been hard at the cleaning and reorganization of my studio in Lambertville, now that I have finally settled on a date: the afternoon of Sunday May 6, which is also the date of the full moon! The online exhibition of my work with Galerie Cerulean has been archived, HERE. I was happy with the work and with its reception, and just feel like celebrating a restart to go with my Re:Vision! So cleaning, moving furnishings, and preparing to share it all with friends who might be able to join me for an open studio is an end in itself as far as I'm concerned.
I couldn't help thinking about my studio and the spaces which have preceeded it, and I'd love to show you photos of ALL the work spaces I've had over the years. But herein follow a couple shots of two of my prior studios, and my current space when I first was looking at the building.
After moving to western NJ, I set up my studio 4 times in my first 3 years -- the last one was quite a nice space, but over a laundromat and the building was not a healthy place for me to be. Out here it was very difficult to find anything suitable for a studio away from home, so I reluctantly gave in to the idea of buying a building for my work. The building I found had been a potter's studio for about 25 years, a cabinetmakers workshop before that, and before that, a men's club! Prior to that, I heard, a pair of elderly sisters lived out their days in the small, older part of the building, which is entirely of stone and was built in the mid-19th century; the cement block addition in back, where I work, was the men's club in the '40s I think, called the "Top Rock Club." My wonderful building has lots of unique characteristics which won't be pictured here; neither will the benevolent spirits, whose presence I felt as soon as we met.
I'll begin with this shot of my fantastic studio at Hunter's Point Shipyard in San Francisco. This was my second studio in that complex, and I worked there for about 14 years. What you're seeing through the windows is fog.
In 2003, we left San Francisco after having lived there 18 years, and came to western New Jersey, near Lambertville. At first we rented, and I had a studio at home. Then I rented a small space in Frenchtown; and then moved across the street when the space above the laundromat became available. There was a lot to love about that studio, below.
All I could see was the open space and the light; but over time the air in the building was a problem, so I started looking for somewhere else. By this time, we were living in our own home, a farmhouse near Lambertville (thank you, crazy SF real estate market!). But the spaces available for rent were too refined for painting. After a long search, I took a look at an appealingly run-down building which had been on the market about 3 years. There were issues with the zoning and there was a lot of work needed. This building would not be for everyone, which is how it managed to wait for me, I guess. The wonderful potter who owned it had a nice small showroom in the older part in front, with gallery lighting, and did his ceramic work in the back. Here are some shots taken on our first visit.
The interior was gutted, almost the entire roof had to be rebuilt because of the insects. In the process, we enlarged one skylight that had been in a small design studio off to the right of this lowest shot, and added another just like it. On the advice of the previous owner, we lost about an inch or so of barely adequate ceiling height (my only regret, I would love 10-15 feet of height), by adding radiant heat to the floor and covering it with plywood -- no regret there!