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My father is coming out to Pennsylvania this weekend to help me transform an old, ugly garage into a fancy, new studio. We have to secure the foundation, move support beams on the trusses, add more outlets, install two windows and a door, insulate, drywall on the ceiling and paneling on the walls, trim it out, install track lighting, and paint. In addition to all of this, we have to move all the items currently in the garage, place them in a temporary storage facility (i.e. a tent made from tarps on our deck), remove a stump, level the ground, pour and tamp gravel, and have a shed built. Then we can move the bicycles and lawnmower into the shed and reclaim our deck as a beautiful outdoor room. Take a deep breath. Remember One Shovelful at a Time? I retell myself that story every day.

I thought that we were going to have to drive all the way to Cranberry or Hermitage to the Lowe’s there, but we have an 84 Lumber here in town and a couple of hardware stores. I think we can source everything locally. The fella at the shop was incredibly helpful and I am looking forward to going back with Dad to gather all the materials into the truck.

There is so much waiting, planning, preparing in this process of making sculptures. Not only in the preparation of the space in which the sculptures will be made, but the planning out of the pieces, the manipulating of the armatures, building sculpture stands, preparing clay. The actual sculpting is such a small fraction of what I do. That was one of the biggest surprises when I went to work for Jay Carpenter. I imagined that he was spending all of his time moving clay around, creating beautiful sculptures. The reality was so much less romantic than that. He sent me on errands to the hardware store, to galleries, to the mold-maker’s studio. I put together presentation packets for galleries and potential clients. I logged expenses and income. I scrubbed the floor, poured casts, painted shelves. Running a sculpture studio is so much bigger than making sculptures.

Speaking of all the other things that artists have to do to make a living, I spend a lot of time reading Alyson Stanfield’s website. I even joined the Artist Conspiracy and bought her book, “I’d Rather Be in the Studio” because I’d really rather be in the studio. Until then, I will need to BUILD the studio. Then I’ll have a party. Who knows, maybe some sculptures will get made in the process. After all, that’s what this is all about.

This is what I imagine the party will be like, but with more sculptures around.

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