The New Studio
Or, I finally get to paint on walls...

This is the first in a series of posts about how I arranged my working space. Unless you're an artist trying to set up your own space, or a DIYer looking for some home improvement tips, this page will probably strike you as either incredibly boring or self-indulgent, or both.

But then, you don't have to read it:)

In 2003 we moved, and purchased a house with a “florida room” with the intention of converting into a combined flameworking and beadstringing studio. The room is roughly 10x11’, or a little over 3 meters square—almost exactly the size of my old first floor studio. Because I moved the flameworking upstairs, the sewing area and home office got moved elsewhere.

In a perfect world, the room would be hard plumbed for 2–5psi natural gas, the oxygen concentrator (located elsewhere because of the noise), and running water. Those things may happen some day, but besides satisfying my decorating urges, the immediate fixes were to improve the wiring (which, like most of the wiring in this house is inadequate and badly done) and replace the carpet, in my view an unacceptable fire hazard.

We considered putting in radiant heating, because the room is heated with electric baseboard heaters, and given the ventilation issues, heating the floor rather than the air makes a lot more sense. However, putting a boiler in for one room, since the rest of the house is heated with a forced air natural gas furnace, was prohibitively expensive. Nevertheless, the state of the floor, which is—sort of—on a slab, was bad enough that we considered, briefly, doing it anyway.

Ultimately, we concluded that if were going to fix the floor, we might as well take the whole addition off from scratch, and start over, and that, we didn't want to do. So we didn't.

The prior owner was very proud of this room, particularly the Eastern Michigan University themed green and white striped wallpaper. I think he actually was hoping I'd keep it, so naturally it was the first thing I removed. The stripes are on the north facing wall, which is windowless, presumeably it faces the neighbor's carport. (The neighborhood predates modern setback laws.) The window and slice of doorwall face east, looking out into the back yard.


All in all I spent two or three months working pretty continuously on home improvement like the studio. (The alcove, frankly, would be of greater interest to the ‘This Old House’ crowd, but that's a post for another time.) Round about April, when Bead&Button hit, I had to start making beads and living an ordinary life again; by the time our first spate of home improvement projects dribbled (or not) to a finish, I was sick of them, wanting to make beads—and fixes to the old house loomed.

In the fall, colder weather forced the wizard to install ventilation