I have decided to blog about our upcoming studio move. My partner, Jason Hall, and I have been studio residents at Gallery 1279 in Greenville, SC in the Pendleton Street Arts District for 5 years. Two weeks ago, our landlord informed us that it our gallery and retail area would soon become a salon and boutique, and that our rent would be increased.
Upon much consideration and deliberation, it has emerged that we will be best off not paying rent anymore, and moving our studio back to Jason's where he has a workspace already established as Alberta Pottery. It consists of a single-wide trailer from the '60's with a built-on enclosed porch area, and a covered kiln yard. Currently, it is in rough shape and needs a lot of cleaning and TLC, but it has much potential, and it is a starting place for us to build from. We have big dreams of light-filled, glass-walled studios overlooking gardens and a koi pond, with plenty of room for all of our equipment and work space, a teaching area, kilns, and a gallery showroom. It may be far off now, but I believe it's doable and certainly more within our reach than if we keep paying rent some place that we will never own and in which we cannot grow.
Last night, we had our last First Friday at Gallery 1279, and today we started moving our work from the gallery area, and then we went back to Jason's and started working on the studio there. We got some of the porch room cleaned and some things moved to make room for all of the equipment and pots we will have to store there initially. We also worked on cleaning up the kiln yard, and organizing the kiln furniture for the Bailey downdraft kiln. At some point we will continue the concrete slab out from the studio and put the Bailey alongside our updraft Alpine kiln and the soda and raku kilns we also plan to build.
Beginning this process we are optimistic, and even the beginning of it helps break the inertia, and the frustration of indecision. We have a direction and a plan now, so that is something, at least. Now comes the hard work, but at least I can look forward to not paying anyone anymore rent(!!) and the guarantee that we won't lose what we will work to establish from now on. We are trying to see these changes as positive, and part of a greater plan which we can't fully see. I think this move will help us grow, and rely more on ourselves to create our own success.