The studio has been closed for about two weeks due to an overhaul of the building. Upgrades galore and I couldn't be more excited to show you the new studio.
I hired an excellent, local company called Done By K Services and couldn't be happier with the work, professionalism and the quick turnaround of the project. Eric and Don were extremely pleasant to work with and made sure I was happy with the progress each and every step of the way.
For those of you who don't know, my studio has moved a few times. First, I worked out of the "little" bedroom on the first floor of the house. I grew out of the space very quickly, not to mention I feared burning the house down with the torch. The next move was to build a new out-building to house my ever-growing stash of tools, supplies and equipment for jewelry design & fabrication. This building was great! I had air conditioning for the summer and heat for the winter, but wouldn't you know it? I grew out of it in about two (2) years. At one point, I had to coordinate my fabrication so I could move equipment from the rafters to the benches like musical chairs to finish projects. This worked for awhile, but then, I needed more space!
On to the next venue - the garage! Of course, my hubby wasn't too keen on giving up precious space in his workshop, but he really didn't have a choice. So last summer, I moved into one side of our detached 2-car garage and set up shop. As you can see from the pictures above, there is no insulation or walls, it's a garage, but not comfortable if you're in any kind of weather. Too stinkin' hot in the summer and seriously cold in the winter!
This moment culminated into a very long consideration of expanding to a retail space in town to accommodate my vision or stay in my garage and upgrade the building... I really was excited at the prospect of opening a studio gallery with the majority of the space being designated for my work and teaching classes, but my frugalness and some timing tangles of the retail space renovation forced me into considering the garage renovation more seriously. Plus, I had to get the idea by my husband since I'd be taking over 90% of the garage instead of only using half of it. We discussed the idea and to my surprise, he was 100% supportive of my studio staying onsite and expanding in the garage. He agreed for two (2) reasons: one, the upgrade to the garage will certainly help the value of our home should we decide to sell it one day and two, he liked the idea of not having additional expenses to cover in case the location of the retail space didn't have the foot-traffic we anticipated - this is always a concern for any retail store owner.
This brings us to the renovation of the garage, now a fully operating jewelry design studio and classroom venue! Yay!!! I am so excited. We contracted the builders and the electrician to get the proper permits and to customize the electrical layout considering the kilns, vacuum table, vulcanizer, wax injection machine, plating station and so much more for the studio. One of the biggest concerns was the amount of lighting necessary since the "old" garage was very dark I wanted to make sure there was lots of light and brightness in the new studio not only to invigorate my work, but also to encourage students to create and play.
Right now, I'm organizing the new studio - putting up shelves, arranging the workstations and getting all of the inventory organized for full service production. Stay tuned for part two with the finished studio and workstation shots. I will have a plating station, torch station, vacuum casting station, wax carving/modeling station, jeweler's bench, forming & dapping station, mold-making station and so much more!
Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think!