Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Studio 781

The previous post notwithstanding, there is something exciting going on in my life: I am getting a studio! I am renting space in a historic building in the arts quarter of town, to do my writing and my art. And I am terribly excited.

Now, I do truly love my little house--it really is incredibly charming, in a lovely and vibrant neighborhood, and it has been remarkably comfortable for our growing family, given its size. We bought it for just the two of us--back when we were never going to have kids. Then the kids showed up, and the house has accommodated us all.

But it is truly a little house. It is small enough that we have to live in all its spaces everyday. There is no formal dining room--we eat all our meals in the dining room. We have a parlor that maybe doesn't get used every day, but does get used frequently. We have a lovely kitchen with a convenient peninsula and a computer desk--which get used by just about each one of us every single day.

There is no place that we can start a project and then leave it out to finish later. There is no place where I can spread out and organize my thoughts--because we need that space for other things--cooking, homework, eating, etc. There is no place that can just be my own space--not in this cozy little bijoux of a house.

We had a new garage built last summer, and had a storage loft put in above the parking area. I considered whether that could be a decent studio, so I asked the builder. Sticker shock!! $50-60 thousand dollars to make that space habitable. Totally ridiculous. So, what about the garden shed? Well--no electricity, no way to close the door on the inside, plus the kidlets want it for a kid retreat. The basement? Um. . .no. I'm already clinically depressed--that would just be a fatal mistake.

So, having screwed my courage to the sticking point, I asked for what I needed, and Mr. Sweetie (who is very appropriately named) sent me off to go do it. I found a space in a building that was probably the office building for a railroad--the building itself was erected in 1917, and from my window you can see the neo-Classical white marble of the old Depot. The building is across the street from the Farmers' Market, and sits amid a number of renovated warehouse building of the same vintage. Many of them are now being turned into artist lofts, condos, and office space, as well as a Zen Center, coffee shop/wine bar, non-profit space. . .very cool and off-beat stuff going on in the area.

I took my dad down to see the space to give me some advice on lighting. The studio is on the 7th floor (of 8) and had a terrible acoustic tile dropped ceiling in it. The ceiling was obviously just stuck in at some point, as it cut off the tops of the windows. So, the building maintenance workers took down the (stained and crumbling) ceiling and the (boring and eye-sucking) fluorescent lights, and we went to see what was underneath it.

Oh man--you really have to wonder at people--there was an additional 3 feet of ceiling height, with a vintage picture rail hidden under there. The windows are huge--4 feet wide and about 8 feet high--yes, with about 3 feet hidden by that damn ceiling.

I am terribly terribly excited about getting into this space now! My lighting expert is recommending two electrical circuits--one for the writing area and the supply space, and the second for the art and craft table. We measured the space, and now I get to lay it all out on a grid and play around with what size desk and where to put it.

June 1 is my official occupancy date, and it can hardly come fast enough for me.

1 comment:

Suefunky said...

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Count down to June 1 (add this to your Harry Potter countdown) Good thoughts to consult some lighting expertise - that can make or break the character you want to create.

Congratulations! This is great great news!