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Starry Road New Studio – Making Slow Progress

March 14, 2014 , In: General, Studio
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Remember this?

The area of the farm known as the “old sheep barn” where we are currently building the studio. 

Some of you may remember that Don and I started building a new studio for Starry Road Studio this past summer. It has been a long and very hard winter, which has caused a series of significant delays. At one point a few weeks ago, the pipes froze at our cabin forcing me to relocate to Rochester NY (about 2 hours east), where my husband rents part of a house with a housemate (he works in Rochester during the week and commutes home to our place at the Cabin on the weekends). I pretty much packed up what I could fit in my car, drove here and set up a temporary studio in the dining room. I was able to bring with me my inventory so that I could keep my shops open and continue to ship. I also brought a couple of bags of clay and some tools to make beads, and some metal clay tools and supplies.

Last week, Don finally picked up my metal clay kiln so that I could fire work. Thank goodness!

Meanwhile, construction has continued on the studio, with Don and/or I returning to the area on weekends to supervise progress. Last week, I paid a visit and took some photos of what has been done so far.

 First here is a refresher – our floor plans:




Here’s some interior shots… starting with the entry and kitchen.

The entry into the Kitchen.
Cabinets will be installed here this weekend. 

This is the Clay room… where I will be doing slab and wheel work, and possible spray glazing, though I may move that out to the garage.

Clay/Glaze room with Casey looking out the back door.

Here is the garage / kiln room. I may also move most of the pottery glazing out here: all the large buckets and glaze materials will be stored out here.

Garage – Don is working on electrical or something.

Next we go upstairs to the main studio. I will do all my bead making up here, both ceramic and metal clay. I will also do most of my bead glazing here too. Basically, this is where all the “small” non-pottery stuff will get done. Also metal work, shipping, etc.

This is the right half of the upstairs studio.

Looking toward the left half of the upstairs studio. The room on the left there is the bathroom.

Now, we move onto a small living quarters part of the studio – Don and I will be here for most of the winter (the cabin will be for the rest of the year)… and I will stay here most of the time when kilns are firing, to monitor them. It’s a nice cozy little “apartment” that can also serve as a guest room during the nicer time of year (spring, summer, fall).

This is the “TV Room” and will also serve as a second guest bedroom
(with fold out sofa bed or futon, whatever we end up getting).

This is the main bedroom.

Hard to see in these photos, but I chose a palette of warm deep earth tones for most of the living areas, including the kitchen (which was not yet painted at the time of these photos), and lighter colors for work areas. The flooring will be wood laminate in most areas, including kitchen and upstairs studio, ceramic tile in the bathrooms, carpeting in the bedroom and TV room, and a grouted vinyl tile in the Clay / Glaze room. The flooring is getting put in THIS week.

Other work to be done: A large front porch added onto the front of the house, which will have to wait until the ground thaws in spring. A deck on the back. A small outdoor kiln shed for the gas reduction kiln. Plantings around the house and along the road in front. Central air conditioning (equipment is ready to be installed but also waiting until spring).

Other things on the horizon: Don talked to our neighbors – the farm down the road – about acquiring some goats. We want to put up a fenced area and a small barn for them. I’d like to have some egg layer chickens too. Some day I want to make soap using goats milk, but mostly I just love the idea of having little goats running around. I believe they are pygmy goats but I’m not sure. Maybe we’ll find out this weekend! Here’s a picture from my blog buddy Caroline Dewison of an “ideal” goat haven, a Goat Castle! Would that be something?!?! LOL.

Karen Totten

Karen has worked professionally as an artist and designer for over 30 years in a variety of creative disciplines: architectural design, illustration, art direction, mixed media art, interaction design. She currently works full time as a User Experience (UX) Design Principal for an international consultancy. When not flying to work every week, her other passions are ceramic art, sketching, and occasionally, jewelry design. “For me, the creative life, from UX to fine art, has always been one of exploration and adventure. As the daughter of an air force navigator, I grew up a traveler. To this day I am intrigued by stories and motifs that transcend time, culture, and geography.“
  1. Reply

    Contact me if you have time to meet for coffee while you are in Rochester, would love to see you before beadfest.

    • Reply

      will do!

    • Reply

      Looks and sounds fantastic! I can't wait to see the finished results. Love the setting that it is built in too, southern tier is a beautiful area.

    • Reply

      I love the Southern Tier!

  2. Reply

    Great space! I can't wait to see how things progress as you move forward!

  3. Reply

    By the way your studio looks beautiful how great is it to design exactly what you need.

  4. Reply

    I love goats! And you wouldn't need to mow. You definitely need a goat castle.

  5. Reply

    If you get goats make sure to have the proper fencing. They will climb everything and you don't want anything they could get their heads stuck through. Also you might want to consider protecting your trees because they do eat bark off some trees (fruit trees especially), and definitely eat leaves and small twigs. Good luck with everything, it looks like it's going to be awesome!.

  6. Reply

    What a beautiful space this is going to be–you can see it already! How cool that you're hoping to get goats! My daughter worked with goats as a child (we lived on a communal property during my kids' childhoods with a working ranch and farm) and taught me how to milk. I have some a great photo of her at about age 7 hugging her favorite Nubian ladygoat. 🙂

  7. Reply

    Hi Karen, Your new studio looks wonderful. I bet that you are excited to get moved in. If you haven't purchased your toilet yet I have a suggestion. 4 years ago we bought a new toilet and my husband researched toilets for 3 days before we purchased. We bought an American Standard Cadet3 and are very happy with it.It has never clogged or overflowed and was reasonably priced. Just my 2 cents worth.

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