November 2009 Archives

morning after

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It is really all you want the morning after turkey day, a nice french press.

And it wasn't our intention to do the traditional T-Day dinner this year, with Daniel absent and my schedule all askew. We haven't yet adjusted to the new normal. But like the call of the wild by five oclock I was craving poultry like a salmon needing to swim upstream. On the hunt for a last minute bird, just missing Safeway locking their doors, we managed to get into Giant just in time. Cooking at five thirty we were eating by 8:30 which I think constitutes making it just under the wire in Turkey time. And the great thing about doing it late, is the bird was half off.

A lovely french press morning.


last minute bird

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The late night, last minute, poultry scramble.

bracelet day

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It will take some getting used to, having folks come in and out as I work. I had some nice ladies from NY that took me quite literally when I said, "come on in, don't be shy". Before I knew it they were milling around the workshop area poking at all the work in process...

what a hoot.

I am so happy that people seem to be comfortable in the space. Today really was the first day that I was open to the public while wielding the torch. And it was interesting to have people watch and ask questions. It is what I would hope for if I was a visitor to an artist studio.

So between the visitors, I managed to get a little work done for the holiday sale at Glen Echo's Popcorn Gallery. (they call it the popcorn because it used to be the parks popcorn stand and has this giant deco sign "POPCORN"...very charming)


at the bench

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Still pulling things together, but I actually managed to make some jewelry yesterday. New tools arrived for the students and I had to laugh at the fact that they are better than the ones I have been using all these years. Especially the pliers. I have used the tools that I originally bought when I was a student and it never occurred to me to buy something better.;-) After being at the studio most of the day, I cam home to finish
the new website for the studio. It was quick and basic but it gets the job done.


glen echo magic

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I am posting this a few days after the fact because I haven't quite worked out the habits of what to take to the studio (camera cable) and what to leave on a daily basis. Today I am home working on some promo material and happen to have the stuff in one place.

I just have to say how grateful I am for the folks at Glen Echo Park for the system that they have set up for rolling out an artist. Having had to do the self promotion end of my craft for years (my least favorite part and for most artists that is true) it is really nice to have this amazing support system. Even though the park takes a wee percentage of class tuitions which means it makes sense that they promote their artists, still some studio settings just don't have that. And promotion is one of those things that some artists just never get around to doing. It is hard work, and most of us would rather be doing the art.

Pre-reception food set-up. Three unsung heros... Jennifer, Sharon, and Meredith. Jen and Shar are the promo gals, and Meredith holds the post of Education Program Manager which is like herding cats when you consider that all the instructors are artists. She manages to wrangle us all with a gentle grace and patience. A huge task. And she was my original gateway into the whole process that landed me in this amazing place. Thanks so much you guys!


the view out my studio window of the vintage carousel.


from inside the back of the studio

encouraging words over the student stations. Dream, Imagine, Live... and over my work bench..Keep it Simple(not shown)

my vintage treadle polishing machine finds an appropriate home here.

the new kid

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I am almost completely moved into my new creative space minus incidentals that I keep forgetting to stick in the car when we leave each morning, coffee in hand. Yesterday was my first sort of official day as an artist-in-residence here at the park as I attended my first resident meeting. I was also fortunate enough to be visited by Glen Echo Park's governing board members last night at a little reception held in my studio and the lobby space outside it.


I lost count of these esteemed folk that popped in to ooh and ahh at this newly transformed space and the promise of creative opportunities that it offers would be students.

I even met the mayor.

I have to admit to feeling a huge sense of pride watching jaws drop as folk entered the space to have a look around. I fielded numerous questions about the classes, silversmithing as an art form, my work specifically, and even... "what is in the crock pot"? (that would be a silver cleaning agent called 'pickle'".

A few of my fellow residents popped in too, and that was absolutely wonderful. My hopes were proven right that this is truly a vibrant art community where each artist seeks to build the other up. I was given some great tips for marketing to the local area, and lots of encouragement. As well as an insistent buyer of some of my cards.

Shades of what could be the soul of exnihilo.

I couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome.

studio home stretch


Well so much for reporting the day by day, instead it has fallen to the weekly interval. But, much was accomplished this week in spite of missing my hubby helper who has been an uber-busy business traveler.

Almost done, minus my office area (hence the ladder peeking through the curtains). The student stations are all done sans some wall embellishments like inspiring pictures of works in progress, or encouraging words. We got the anti-vibration rubber installed under all the cabinets so that the sound of hammering is transformed from a bang, bang, bang, to a tink, tink, tink. This will hopefully keep me endeared to my neighboring artists across the hall and on the first floor.

Much sawing and assemblage, nailing and painting... design and selection of things that will maximize the wee 8 foot width of this space. The thought put into the preliminary design has paid off ten fold as the room now actually feels much larger that it did originally. Contrary to popular belief, darker colors can actually expand the perception of a room.

Fortunately for this artist, there is a place called IKEA, and even more fortunate for some reason they have been over-stocking their AS-IS room. My visit there on an almost daily basis has paid off big time, from the discovery of a perfect workbench to nice wooden drawer pulls for 25cents a pair. Three places where I really splurged was the gallery flooring, the two beautiful glass cases, and the student seating. But at 250.00 for both, those glass cases bring the gallery to life, and they are lockable. And I have to admit being a little obsessive about the stools. I literally butt-tested a dozen different styles before selecting these (again, thank you Ikea) which came in a pack of two and are the most comfortable stool I have ever sat on.

Hey who can be creative with a sore butt?

And they add a wonderful zen sort of style to the space and fit perfectly in the little niches.

Yea... I am really obsessive about the student experience. But I have always been highly sensitive to how a space can help or hinder the creative process. The muse needs a happy and inspiring place to live, and that includes a lot of things...


All of these things feed the muse, and my hope is in this new creative space that I can help other would-be artists to be inspired.

There is still much left to do in the next few weeks. Preparing for the classes that start Dec 2nd and are posted here and all the finishing touches and tests (like a torch test to make sure my flames don't set off the park's fire alarms;-) It is a wild ride, but already the studio feels like home with my tools and supplies mostly moved in.

My official grand opening will coincide the reception for the park's holiday show on Dec 12th from 7-9. So if you are in the area please stop by for a glass of wine and a peek at my new creative home.

view of gallery into office


view from gallery into workshop


student stations and very comfy stools


25 cent drawer pulls

before shot



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I finished the floor for the gallery portion of the shop last night. Of course all that up and down motion makes for a sore back the next day. Little bits at a time as I load up the element with as much as it can carry each time I go. There is still a sound proofing rubber matting that needs to be attached to the base of every cabinet before we put them in place. That rubber will help quiet the hammering and machine sounds. I am hoping to be completely moved in, up and running by next friday.


Sunday morning we have some construction at home before making the trek to the studio. The large butcherblock countertops need to be cut in half and we need to make pedestals for the cabinets (2x3s). Bryan begins this task and I head toward the hardware store for more paint, glue, and some other misc stuff. Painting the legs once he has them assembled, we hope to be in the car by noon. I am steering clear of the countertops until they are cut down. I made the mistake of not doing this and employed Daniel to help me unload them from the car last week, only to take a nasty tumble and landing flat on my face on top of one. Like getting hit in the face with a board, I ended up with a fat lip and a reminder that my less than five foot stature may not allow me to do such heavy lifting.

Darn it.

But it also reminds me how lucky I am to have a husband who gets into this kind of project, and can lift heavy items.

By noon we are in the car with a load of wood. It is pouring rain which is a bit of a drag. Getting to Glen Echo we unload everything in the 20 minute loading zone. I go to move the car and look down at the front right tire...



Again... Bryan to the rescue.

Hey, at least the sun came out!

More assembling. We put together two of the stools that I picked out to check the height for workability. Because the space is only eight feet wide, holding a class in here would be tricky if we used conventional cabinets which are 24 inches deep. So I opted for twelve inch deep wall cabinets to support a 13 inch deep counter. Each work station has about thirty inches of width which once we set it up and tested it, proved to be very comfortable. It is going to be a very efficient use of the space.

While Bryan finished the cabinets, I started to work on the office area which is on the other end of the studio. It will be slightly hidden by a large display case which will act as a room divider.

By five o clock we were exhausted.

Cabinets with butcherblock counter tops

Bryan putting on the spare.

The space is coming along.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2009 is the previous archive.

December 2009 is the next archive.

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