After nearly a year of searching for a studio in town, I finally decided to work in my own back yard. I have a small cottage with an even smaller one-car garage. Well, it was a one car garage back when cars could fit in a ten-foot wide space. Even my compact Mazda 5 can barely fit into the garage. It can, but I would be hard pressed to get out of the car! The money that I had set aside for studio rent, I simply channeled into a garage to studio transformation (plus a shed to store all the displaced items and a storage unit to store the molds and giant statue of St. Joseph.)
There was a load of work to be done and my Dad, aka the Moleman, was convinced that we could do it. He is a man of many talents and strengths; of course he could do it. However, he lives in Michigan. He took several days off, away from Molemen, Inc., drove six hours across Indiana and Pennsylvania to help his daughter get her studio set up.
My father arrived on Thursday. We measured the space, made a detailed list, and planned out our project. On Friday, we went to a few lumber yards before driving all the way to Hermitage to go to Lowe’s. Lowe’s costumer service is generally fantastic. We were even able to get on a truck already headed to Grove City that very afternoon.
Once we unloaded the materials we went to work on framing out the windows. It was more difficult than it looks! We had to move several old studs and reconfigure them to accommodate the new windows.
It was a balmy, sunny day on Thursday and Friday. We were able to pull all the contents of the garage out into the driveway, which gave us a lot of space in which to work.
Then went from seventy-five degrees to rainy and cold, and on Monday the temperatures dipped below freezing and it started to snow. On Saturday, we framed the second window, while Erik hung insulation. It was wet and cold, the sort of cold that sinks deep into your bones. We drank a lot of tea to try to keep ourselves going.
On Sunday, my joints filled with concrete and I could barely get off of the couch. (One of these days, I will have to write a post about the challenges of being a working artist and a mom while having a chronic disease. It is a miracle that I get anything done.) Fortunately my father and my husband worked well together and manage to raise the ceiling in the space, lay all the insulation, and arrange the electrical.
We still have a lot of paneling to hang, but it was so wet outside that sawing in the driveway became impossible. So, on Monday we redeemed the loss of a work day with coffee and conversation. I was glad in it.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of “How the Studio Got Done!”