That's right, friends, I'm so very excited to announce that I have set forth in the new adventure of setting up my very own studio, complete with wheel and kiln and boxes of clay and plenty of dust to share! It's been, I think, a long time coming, and yet the decision to move forward happened very quickly.
|John, wearing one of my pots on his head. My, we were a wild bunch back in the day...|
I set off to do some fact finding, with plenty of online window shopping followed by a visit to the Continental Clay Company in Minneapolis, MN. A follow-up call to Ed Swartout at Continental Clay to inquire about some kiln specs (better to have the information before having the garage rewired!) led me to discover that Ed in fact had a rebuilt kiln on hand that would be available for half the cost of a brand new one. HALF! And not a used kiln, but essentially a brand new kiln stuffed into a slightly used shell. Brand new heating elements, brand new wiring, brand new computer controller. Slightly used bricks and frame. What a deal! For those playing along at home, cutting the cost of my kiln 50% reduces my entire start-up cost by 25%. That's pretty significant. So I took the plunge and told Ed to put my name on that kiln and I would liberate it as soon as possible.
Made my way up to those Twin Cities on Friday with a borrowed van (thanks Mom and Dad!) to pick up my order. Can I stop for a moment and say that the folks at Continental Clay are a fabulous bunch? I know that every region has their own dominant pottery outfitters, and I'm sure they're all more than swell, but I wanted to make it clear what a wonderful experience it was to work with Ed and Helen and everyone else up there who made placing and picking up my order a totally slick experience. Now, if only somebody wanted to help make paying for the order a little easier...
|Here's my "new" kiln, a Skutt 1227, all loaded up.|
|That's me and Ed (left) with the fully loaded Odyssey.|
|My kiln! Broken up and waiting for the electrician to come work his magic so I can reassemble it in place and get to work!|
|Glazes, chemicals, etc. Good stuff!|
|Got some clay here, and a little bit of potters' plaster for good measure.|
|Kiln furniture - little kiln tables, divans, and bureaus.|
|Awful excited to have my own wheel. Brent Model B. She's a beauty. All bright and shiny and mustard yellow.|
|Part of my work space. More pictures as it comes together, I'd imagine.|
|My own corner of the basement. Officially the first piece thrown on my wheel! Nothing too fancy, since I didn't have much time for it today, but just enough to get some clay under my fingernails.|