Workshop pt. 2

So, the rest of that workshop I mentioned on the 28th…

After the visit at Isabella’s studio, we went to see Alexis’. They were probably chosen based on the fact they’re both five minutes’ walk from the Batcave[1], more than for any other purpose, but they were still both very helpful to see, if only because they’re both so different.

Isabella’s studio is a small, compact room, with some storage in a side cavern[2]. She’s spent the last few years making more conceptual and “fine art” type things, and she has no interest in doing production work. (An assistant has taken over that line. And even so, I don’t think a lot of it gets made anymore.)

Alexis’ studio takes up a whole floor of an old Victorian house, and is geared to production pretty much all the time. You get three pictures of it (one of which is blurry; deal) because my camera’s battery died. As you can see, the first thing you see when you come in is a small display/retail space.

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Behind the counter, there’s the studio. Two wheels (throwing and trimming, with a spatter shield between the two, which I think is *genius*), work table, lots of cupboards for glaze ingredients, ginormous industrial sink (bought at a salvage yard for a few hundred bucks; going for over a thousand new), and, half-hidden behind a rack of pottery, four baker’s racks full of wares. Full. The door in behind with the orange trim leads into the kiln room, which has two kilns; one for bisque and one for glaze. Down the hall there’s a kitchenette, storage space, and an office with files, computer, prototypes, and reference books.

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I want to be Alexis. I want to have a big, busy studio, full of pots in all stages of creation. Isabella’s setup is nice, but I want to do production. I want to make mugs that people use and cherish every day. I want that cup of tea to be extra special for having been brewed in one of my teapots. I want husbands to quake in fear at the thought of breaking their wives’ sugar bowls.

And I want to make a *lot* of it.

[1] Okay, the Craft Council Clay Studio.

[2] I’m not actually joking about the cavern. Her house is in the Battery, a neighbourhood of St. John’s which clings like a collection of barnacles to the cliffs on the north side of the harbour. The floor of that storage room is weathered, lumpy bedrock.

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