Spring Studio Tour

After three and a half months of not being able to get clean water flowing in my throwing room besides what I bring in buckets, I was on the verge of a Martha Stewart-worthy meltdown. Making pottery is a messy business. Ideally, a pottery studio would have running water with a dual sink and a clay trap. I don’t have that, but I enjoy my studio space more than any space I’ve worked before. Luckily, the warm weather came just in time to save my sanity. I hauled all of my equipment into the yard and hosed it off. I took sponges to the shelves and floor. When I was finished I felt pleased with how clean the space felt to me and laughed a little to myself that I think based on most standards of cleanliness the room would still probably qualify as filthy. When I was studying ceramics at MSU Billings, I remember how much pride I had in making sure that each tool was returned to its marker-outlined hanging spot on the wall; that every unused bucket was spotless and that equipment was free from clay trimmings that would dry and leave a crusty mess that would be even more difficult to clean up later. These days, I have different priorities. I’d love to have a sparkling photo-ready studio, but when I am throwing a pot and the baby monitor lets me know that my little one is awake, I feel no frustration in leaving a half-made bowl on the wheel.  I get back to it when I can. Having a toddler means that most of my work is done early in the morning, during his naps and late at night after dinner, bath and play/story time. It requires a lot of flexibility and time planning on my part, but I can honestly say that this is the best time of my life. And that’s due in no small part to the encouragement and support of my husband who loves that I am both a full time potter and a full time mom. The studio is divided into three parts—the throwing room, the glazing room and the kiln room.

Outside the throwing room. View from the back deck. We knew this was the right house for us when the previous owner showed us all the outside work space. Not only do I have a throwing room, but Jeremy has a woodworking studio, we have space for the kiln room in the back shed and there’s storage space for all of our camping, snowboarding and yard care equipment.
throwing room
Inside the throwing room. My Brent CXC (love it).
Inside the throwing room. Reclaim bin and wood burning stove. We work hard to be as sustainable as possible. We reclaim all clay trimmings and abandoned work, and we use the stove for heat rather than an electric heater 99 percent of the time. The exception is when it’s so cold outside that the water in our buckets will freeze solid overnight. I can typically keep it above freezing with a fire or two per day.
Inside the throwing room. Storage shelf and my scratchy radio that is broke and only tunes in KEMC.
Inside the throwing room. Additional reclaim buckets for specialty clays, plaster wedging/drying slab and drying shelf.
Glazing room/office. View from kitchen stairwell entrance.
Glazing room/office. We keep a space near the outside door for Jeremy’s electric bike.
Chickens! The chicky babies are living in my studio until they are old enough to go outside and live in the coop that Jeremy is building. I will write a separate post about why we decided to have backyard hens this year (the first year Billings is allowing hens in the city limits).
Glazing room/office view from the outside door. (I love my record player on the back shelf).
Inside the glazing room. I painted an old shutter and Jeremy attached it above my work table for me to keep our special order forms. We found this awesome work table at the Mission for $10.
Inside the glazing room. The far left is our storage area for our mason jar lights, the middle is a storage shelf for finished work and the far right is a wire rack I use to store glaze and bisque ware.
Jeremy is so patient. I frequently take over the dining table with current work I am drying.
Kiln Room. We have a small old manual Gare kiln from the 70s (works great...more energy efficient than you would think) and an electric oval Olympic kiln purchased from a friend.
Kiln Room. We have a small old manual Gare kiln from the 70s (works great…more energy efficient than you would think) and an electric oval Olympic kiln purchased from a friend.

2 responses to Spring Studio Tour

  1. Sue Gahagan says:

    The studio is wonderful and so organized.I can’t wait to see it and all your beautiful work.

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