Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Studio History

Coffee in the Washington D.C. skyline mug, "Punish the Monkey" by Mark Knopfler (new music!) on iTunes. I was going to post form the new studio this morning, but there is a little more set-up to get done (including moving over my desk chair) before I'm ready for that. I did get the painting finished in the office yesterday and Dee got all the shelving units built (listen to the sound of check marks appearing next to to do items) AND she unpacked the new case of glass so I am ready to formally move in. Tomorrow, "Live from Siyeh Studio mark... 11! Wow. I am on my eleventh "studio".

I had to put the quotes around studio in the last sentence because I remember the first studio was a corner in the great room in my grandparents basement. I didn't do any kiln forming then, it was a stained glass only studio. I wonder if my Uncle Ed still has the big round window of a mallard flying in front of a lake? It was my second piece and the only one I ever did from a pattern. There was a piece for each feather and I remember being amazed when it actually all fit together. I was never much of a copper-foiler so it was a huge round leaded window.

Then I went off to graduate school in Chicago in my 1967 GMC Suburban with the backseat removed. That car was *big*. It seated 20 and I had a small paragon kiln in the back, a case of glass tied to the back of the bench seat, and boxes of tools. Oh yeah, I also had some clothes and books, but those were thrown in as almost an after thought. The "Studio" in Chicago was most of my graduate student apartment: the bedroom was the glass studio, the kiln was in the kitchen and I slept on a pull-out sofa in the living room.

Studio three was in an old coach house in the Kenwood area of Hyde Park by the University of Chicago. I finally had a 20-amp circuit so I could get a bigger kiln. I bought a 20" X 20" Glass Glow from Phil Teefy and tucked it under the stairs in the garage area of the coach house (the little Paragon stayed upstairs in the bedroom/studio). Production firing back then meant two firings a day and for the second one, setting the alarm to get up every time the power needed to be adjusted for a new firing segment (slow ramp, fast ramp, cool, anneal, etc.). Chicago in the winter in the middle of the night in a drafty old coach house. Brrr. I feel so spoiled now.

Yesterday I shipped from the new shipping room. It was heaven--no more crowded, dark corner in the studio annex (aka the garage). I am still a little concerned about putting my packages out for pick-up on the front porch. I would feel better if it were screened in. Construction round two.

Today I sign and ship all the books people pre-ordered and change the Glass Incarnate web site from "pre-order a signed copy" to "order a signed copy". I'm already getting inquiries about suppliers so I need to get a list together for Lark and one up on my site asap. Maybe I need a Kavarna Day...

4 comments:

Bill Paley said...

Just out of pure curiousity, where in Hyde Park did you live, exactly, and when?

Obviously, that was long before we met you...

Diane Anderson said...

Brenda, I remember well when you lived in Hyde Park and worked with me....and I remember that you were creating beautiful plates and platters then. I went to Borders to see a copy of your book but they didn't have one in the store. I told them that it was going to be a very popular book and that they should display a copy. I can't wait to see the new studio.

Brenda Griffith said...

Hey Diane, you little lurker, it's good to see you commenting!

Bill, first I lived at 847 E. 57th street between Maryland and Drexel. The coach house was on the 4700 block of Kimbark. Then I shared an apartment across from Mr G's at 1315 E. 53rd, and finally I owned a condo in the Barclay building at 4940 S East End. The last one was too small for both Dave and me so I sold the condo and we moved together to Roger's Park (and then to infinity and beyond--aka Austin and Atlanta).

Brenda Griffith said...

Oh yes, and the whens: 57th street 87-88, Kimbark 88-89, 53rd 89-90, East End 90-91 and 92-95 (with a year in Eugene OR on faculty at the University of Oregon from 91-92).