Yes, you can ask any mother on the planet – before your newborn comes the natural instinct to prepare the nest takes hold and that takes priority over everything. That is the stage I’m at now – as the birth (or perhaps hatching would be more appropriate) of my artistic endeavor looms in the very near future. So today I spent re-designing my studio space (again).
I’ve been in the space long enough now to know the flaws in my original design. When I first walked into the empty space it felt cavernous, with exposed brick walls that framed two sides and went so high you have to crane your neck to find the ceiling (which is insulated but the insulation is only covered with clear plastic – so, better to keep the crick out of your neck and your eyes at eye-level). The other two walls which separate my studio from my neighbor’s studio and from our common area are made of pressed wood and don’t go all the way to the ceiling – it’s great for tossing things to each other, but sucks when I want to jam to bubble gum pop music and a neighbor is listening to caterwauling jazz suxsaphone. There was a floor to ceiling beam in the room – not centered or anything, just there. It was a dream come true – a professional space for me to take my work more seriously than working out of my basement. It also put me smack dab in the middle of Asheville’s hottest creative arts district surrounded by creative types. We (and by that I mean myself, my husband and my amazingly supportive parents) took that big square of a studio with a beam in it and transformed it into a space with gallery, storage and work area. I found a DirectTV dealership that was happy for us to take away as many used wooden pallets as we wanted. We erected a 12 foot high wall anchored to that random beam in the room and created a 4 foot high wall perpendicular to it effectively sectioning off one quarter of the room for my “office”. We made an open “cube” of palates to house hundreds of frames ready to recycle
and a custom bench/bed in my “office” space by stacking palates and covering with padding and carpet remnants. It was a recycler’s dream and there are plenty of spaces to work in and display on.
So the downside, I discovered over time, is that when I’m in my “office” visitors don’t see me when they walk in. That might be ok if I wanted to eavesdrop or something, but I’d much rather engage folks when they come through the door. So TODAY I set out to change the way my office is situated. I went back to DirectTV and picked up another five palates to create a raised platform for my desk that faces the door and looks over the 4 foot wall. It borders on pretentious because I’m a good two feet higher than my visitors – but they can’t really ignore me this way. Of course creating the raised platform has been an incredible challenge – first because I’ve been doing it all myself and second because the floor sags terrible and to get it level I’ve had to prop and shim palates with 2×4’s, slats and random wooden items I’ve scavenged throughout the studio. Tomorrow I’ll be taking the husband (read slave) in to tighten everything up and screw down the plywood. Then I’ll load up the desk and rearrange all the storage units.
All this to say that as the Year of the Fowl Mood approaches I am getting my “nest” ready for its arrival and egg-citedly looking forward to the adventure to come!