Thanks for those descriptions. I like option #3, although your
current space sure looks very nice and spacious. My dream is to tear
down our wisteria-covered garage in the back yard (a separate
building that has a potting shed tacked on the back of it) and
rebuild the whole thing with a big artist studio attached (instead of
crumbling potting shed).. Unfortunately, I haven't yet convinced my
husband that this is the perfect project for him . . . I think he's
waiting for the wisteria vines to finally pull it all down, and at
least that part will be done.
On Oct 20, 2008, at 7:22 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:
Keith, I love this. What a great thread you started, Laura.
It makes me wish I had taken pictures of all the places I've
worked; I think that would be a very entertaining addition to the
mix, and would also help Diana feel considerably better about the
place she works, if she needed more negative examples. In lieu of
pictures, I'll describe them:
(1) There was a basement full of a century's worth of obsolete
boilers and furnaces and other antique oddities, with joists high
overhead where insects were apparently busy eating the wood; every
morning I would come down to find a fresh layer of sawdust all over
everything. I ended up stapling black plastic to the joists so
that the sawdust would fall into the plastic instead of onto my
worktables and into my trays. I actually enjoyed working in that
space; it was functional, if not beautiful, and at least the
basement was dry.
(2) Then there was a godawful cellar with a stream running through
it, that I've probably described here before. It had a very low
ceiling, reeked of fungus and cat pee, and was just generally the
most unpleasant place to work I can imagine; it was cold, dank,
claustrophic, and just really really disagreeable. I had plenty of
space there; I had tables and workstations for every possible task,
which was nice, but I hated working in that space. I really had to
talk to myself to get myself to get my boots on and go down there
(3) Then for six years I had a lovely place at the beach, where I
had a dedicated artist's studio, a separate building, with a shed
roof and floor to ceiling windows on the north (tall) side looking
out into pine trees. It was a happy place to work,
aesthetically, but at 12x16, minus one corner taken up by a
generous bathroom, it was really crowded; with three workbenches
and four sinks in there, I just barely had room to turn around.
There wasn't space to hang prints or sized paper; I had a
clothesline in the kitchen in the house for that. When I was
putting a show together, I had to use the garage, the kitchen and
dining room as well as the studio, and there wasn't really room to
paint in the studio either. The darkroom was in a bathroom/utility
room in the house, which I had to dismantle whenever I needed to
wash clothes. It was a really charming place to live, with a
darling guest cottage to boot, and my son has never quite forgiven
me for not buying that place when the owners decided to sell it,
but I'm glad I didn't.
(4) Then (just for a year) I lived in an apartment (more like a
treehouse, kind of hard to describe -- a house that had been
raised 12 feet into the air and a photographer's studio built under
it). There was no place suitable for a darkroom, and the only
place suitable for gum printing was the utility room, which housed
a stacked washer and dryer, the furnace and water heater. The
only place I could print was on top of the washer/dryer, and I had
to print small; luckily that was the year I was trying to
understand how digital negatives work so I was printing color
patches and calibration charts that whole year and didn't mind not
being able to make prints of any size.
(5) And now my current workroom. It's in the basement of my house,
adjacent to the garage (the garage is a level below the house) and
when I moved in the space was framed but not insulated or
sheetrocked, but even in that primitive state it seemed pretty
wonderful to me. My brother helped me enclose the space this
summer. It's not finished yet; it still needs a big table for the
paper cutter, a counter for trays, and some cabinets, so it's a
work in progress. So far I've only unpacked what I need at the
moment, and left everything else in boxes. I didn't bother to neat
it up for the pictures; this is how it looks when I'm working. But
it will be nicer when it's finished and everything is put away.
On Oct 20, 2008, at 12:40 PM, Keith Gerling wrote:
here's a picture of the table where I mix gum
the rest of the workplace is too messy to show....
On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 10:43 AM, Laura Valentino <email@example.com>
Just for fun, I snapped some phone pics of the graphic studio
where I work.
I thought it might be interesting to share. I'd also be
interested to see
Top, left to right:
1. My freshly sized paper...don't you just want to grab a sheet
and print on
2. The ventilated "toxic fumes" room. Great for applying sizing.
3. The dark room.
4. Another view of the dark room.
1. The exposure unit I use.
2. Half of the main room.
3. A litho press
4. The other half of the main room. There we actually people
night...usually I have the whole place to myself!
There is also a gallery in the building. They sometimes invite guest
artists. There is a nice website, but I just noticed now there is
not a word
of English on it! I think I should try to do something about that.