Movin’ on Up

Glencliff Studio- mosaic room

Glencliff Studio, my new home!

Less than one week before the 2012 West Austin Studio Tour, my new mosaic studio was complete and I was moving in!  How did this happen?

First, I got tired of working in my garage- really, really tired.  In the winter, I told myself that artists in China work in unheated studios in which paint freezes and breath is visible.  I needn’t complain about nursing a heating pad in my lap and a hot pad around my neck.  In the summer, I told myself that no one worked in air-conditioning until a few decades ago.  I needn’t complain about wearing a towel around my head in order to keep the sweat off my work and out of my eyes.  All seasons of the year, I told myself that there have always been mosquitoes.  I needn’t complain about wearing mosquito repellant or just becoming a groaning board for the feast.  I’m not sure what finally tipped the scale- it might have been the leaves and dirt swirling about my legs when the doors were open to let in the light and fresh air.  But, one day I knew I wanted to move.

The second step was to dream.  Dream about a temperate studio with lots of natural light.  Dream about room to work and room to teach.  Dream about ease of access between home life, my computer, and my studio.  Explore the possibility of moving in order to have enough land on which to build a new studio.  Even put down money on a new location.

But then, the third step happened.  And that third step was waking up in the middle of the night, realizing that we were sleeping right in my new mosaic studio!  Why not move the master bedroom down the hall into a grown child’s bedroom?  Why not move the books down the hall into another grown child’s bedroom?  And, why not live a life of luxury at work, as well as at play?

Fourth step was the long slog.  Thinking and re-thinking the new space and how to use it.  Moving furniture down the hall and getting rid of two rooms’ worth of other furniture.  Dreading.  Planning some more.

Then came the news- Big Medium would be hosting the first West Austin Studio Tour, cousin to the popular E.A.S.T.  I had a short amount of time to enter, then a wait to see if I had been accepted, during which we put the manufacture of a new studio into GO! mode.  After acceptance, we kicked it up a notch and worked all our free time to make it happen.  My spouse built 350 feet of new shelves for my jars of tesserae.  He added lights.  Go, Bob, go!  I helped him and I ran hundreds of jars up the stairs.  My friend, Susan, came one day and dusted trays of supplies with the hair dryer…

…and ran them up the stairs ahead of the bun racks that hold them.

Mom, who already makes the ceramic pieces that I often put into my mosaics, wanted to help.  I set her to re-potting some plants which had grown ratty over the winter, and she decided to make the desert bloom.  She finished the flower bed I’d started five years before, and dressed up the porch with new potted arrangements.

Meanwhile, we hired someone to put in new stair treads and someone else to paint the stairs.

We finished the very week of the studio tour, in which the public was invited in to see not only my studio, but my work for sale.  You may see more pictures of my new studio in my next post.