Sunday, December 16, 2012

My New Studio

Welcome to my new studio, located inside Railroad Square Art Park. I share my workspace with Valerie Goodwin, who makes studio art quilts. You'll see some of her work in these photos.

2012 has been an extremely unusual year. First of all, my father grew ill early in the year and ultimately passed away in October. Immediately after that, my husband argued a case in the U.S. Supreme Court and I drove through the back end of Hurricane Sandy to be with him in Washington, DC, on that important occasion. In the midst of all of this, I made jewelry and moved into my new studio.

This first photo is one view of my metalsmithing space. You'll see other views of it soon. This is the most spacious studio I've ever, ever had, and I love working in it. It has high ceilings and natural light. This is about half the space that I claim for my business, while Valerie has this much space again.

Another view of my metalsmithing area. Here you see several of my workbenches. To the left is my 'hammer station,' where I forge, dap, stamp, and otherwise shape metal with my hammers.

I am on a quest for an affordable large 'live' anvil. When it appears to me, I will add an island for it in the center of this space.

Across the wall is my butcher block and attached rolling mill, my 'dirty' station where I grind/polish/saw/drill metal. It is the home of my Foredom rotary tool, a small drill press and various Dremels. My jeweler's saws dangle from a drawer knob. To the right of this is my solder station, where I work with my torch to solder, anneal, patina, and melt metal. In the foreground to the right are two work tables that allow me to dream, design, assemble jewelry and set stones.

I have set up my art show booth pedestals as a display area, where I show my available pieces. In this pic, you are looking through my display to Valerie's art quilts, on the wall.

Valerie is well known in the art quilt and 'personal cartography' world and her quilts use traditional quilting techniques to produce maps of real and imagined places.

We don't usually run our studio as a shop, but during the holidays we host several special events. Customers can contact us for appointments, to see and buy our work. 

A view of Valerie's sewing area. She also has natural light and a wonderful large work table for designing and laying out her quilts.

Our studio is a great work space for us! We have enough elbow room to be organized and efficient in our work. We both also have a lot of other responsibilities in the world. We are moms of mostly grown sons, we are wives, and we take care of our elderly mothers. In addition to that, Valerie is a professor in Florida A&M's School of Architecture and Engineering, and is an architect herself! You can see more of Valerie's work on her Facebook fan page: .

How our front door looks today, before our carpenter returns to paint the steps, door and banisters. We'll be getting new signage soon, too. Our red 'barn' doors slide in front of the glass doors when we're not there.

It's a great space and we're so happy to be set up at last.

You can see my latest work in my Etsy shop, by clicking on the moving link on this blog page, or by visiting my Facebook fan page: 
Early in the new year, I plan to really hammer on (no kidding!) a lot of new work. And to update and upgrade my Etsy shop. I'd  meant to do that this year, but family events pulled me away. 2013 might be a quieter year. I'm hoping so! I have a lot of ideas that I want to act on. 

My friend, Gretchen Hein will be my assistant/apprentice and I will trade instruction to her for help with jewelry tasks. This should be a fun new excursion!

And I am taking on a few one-on-one students in my studio now and then. (I encourage beginners to contact Florida Society of Goldsmiths, Northwest Chapter for metalsmithing courses before coming to me. FSG/NW is an amazing teaching studio that is fully equipped and they provide excellent instruction in the metal arts.) Their FB fan page:  

I'm happy to report that metalsmithing and art jewelry are alive and well in Tallahassee. And that much of our work is available on a global scale via Etsy and other aggregate sites. And I'm delighted to get back to work! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!