Sunday, August 2, 2009

We Got There.... Just In Time!

Our Open Front Doors. Our place is like a castle really!

On Saturday, at about one minute to one, we flung open the front door and were able to have our open studio day, having finally tidied away a mountain of "stuff", mopped the floors, dusted the shelves, set out a display of work, and made the place look like a working studio again..., instead of a demolition site. It was a great feeling to have got to this point after several days of really hard work.

Laura will do most of her work at this table where she will have lots of light.

We are both excited about how the place looks and feels now that the changes have been made, and are looking forward to getting back to the real work of making new things.

Lots of books to look at, and interesting paintings in the available spaces!

I have taken photos to give you some impression of how the place looks now in our studio area. It was rather late in the day when I took the photos, so the lighting is not the best, but they should give some idea of what you might see if you dropped in on us on an open studio day (we are also open again today, Sunday 1pm - 5pm).

"Flora" an Oamaru Limestone sculpture I did a few months after visiting the UK 11 years ago.

The view from Laura's table into the rest of the room.

Plans draws are good for storing works on paper in, and displaying pots on.

My etching press, which has also doubled as a slab roller and stone crusher!

A home made light table is also a useful display area for folders with photos of our work.

Laura caught in the act of watering plants! Laura is emerging from behind the old post office counter, behind her is the doorway into my potting studio.

Where stamps were once sold, the counter is useful now for displaying pots on.

If you go behind the counter you will discover a little hallway display room.

Small pots are displayed on this old piano.

A lovely painting by Laura graces a door in the hall.

Heading into my studio.

There is a display of small pots in old post office pigeon holes.

Lots of shelves for storing glaze materials and pots.

The end room where my wheel is.

The cuckoo clock, every home should have one!


Judy Shreve said...

What a fabulous place! And you guys did an unbelievable job getting transformed in such a short amount of time. Wish I could walk through those doors and visit you both. Hope your open studio is a complete success!

Peter said...

Hi Judy,
I'm happy to report that the open studio went really well and we had some much needed (and very much appreciated)sales to some of the delightful people that dropped in over the weekend. I wish you could walk through the doors and visit us too, it would be great fun to catch up with you in person.
Best Wishes,

Linda Starr said...

What a wonderful and welcoming studio and gallery space you have. The post office furniture is so great for the pots and I love Laura's paintings with the bright colors especially with the turquoise. I love the eclectic mix of furniture, so warm and gives a sense of history and time to your art. I too would love to surprise you both by walking through the front door some day. You did an amazing job with your transformations.

Christine H S said...

Thank you for the wonderful tour, both paintings and pots look delightful in this inspiring and creative environment. Only thing is...I can't believe that you used the etching press to crush rocks?!

Linda Starr said...

Hi Peter, I also meant to say your limestone sculpture is just wonderful. You are so very talented.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Oh, my goodness! How I would love to be able to walk into this beautiful space you and Laura have created. It is just fantastic, and so well arranged and decorated. Congratulations on a job well done!

Peter said...

Hi Linda, I hope you do walk through our front door one day, it would be such a delight to have you visit. I should think seriously about building a "bloggers retreat" out the back for visitors to spend a few days unwinding and making pots, now that would be fun! Glad you feel the place looks welcoming, it really is! It is a nice building with a good feeling of history, and I think it is happy to still have the public visit some times.

Glad you liked the limestone sculpture. I'm rather fond of it. I didn't do a lot of work with stone, but I had a few months of it shortly after we returned here after a trip to the UK. I had been drawing nonestop on the trip and was really excited by what I saw, but
had real difficulty drawing and painting again when I got back to New Zealand. I had reconnected with something in the UK, and it hurt rather to break the bond again. The work with stone was quite theraputic. I had loved what I had seen of Barbara Hepworth's sculptures, and those of Henry Moore when in the UK.

Hello Christine,
Glad you enjoyed your tour! Yes... it is true, I have used the press for crushing rocks! We have schist rock near here (not sure if you have it in Scotland??). Schist is really like fossilized clay that has been laid down in thin layers. It is naturally quite brittle. I discovered that heating it to 700 degrees Centigrade makes it really crumble very easily.
You could work it into a fine powder with a pestle and mortar at that stage, but I run it carefully through the press between layers of canvas (a good use for my old bad paintings!!). I wonder if schist would turn into slate given a few more millions of years and extra pressure?? I suspect that they have a great deal in common. I found that I could use schist in glazes in the place of clay. It is an interesting addition to a stoneware glaze as there are extra goodies in it, such as titanium and iron, and I have found that a chun glaze over a schist laden slip can be fairly spectacular.

Hello Pat, Lovely to hear from you. It would be fun to be able to really show you the place in person, but I am glad you have been able to have a look of what is here from the photos. (Love your flower photos by-the-way, they are really beautiful and bring the warmth of summer all the way here!).

Anonymous said...

wow, unbelievable... in the "before" pictures in the previous posts the place didn't seem that large but it really seems spacious now. i envy your "taking the bull by the horns" and transforming the space, it looks like it will be very productive

Peter said...

Thanks Jim. I did question my sanity for some of the time when stuff was piled up everywhere and everything we seemed to do just created more mess...., but, we are enjoying the result. Laura has already started painting in her area, I'm still doing one or two things to mine to make it really usable, but am just about there now. said...

I agree, everyone should have a cuckoo clock. Gerry brought me one back from Switzerland years ago when he went on a climbing trip with the boys. I love your new space, truly a reflection of the people that work there!

Peter said...

Hi Tracey, Thanks for that. Cuckoo clocks always hold fond memories for me, because my grandparents had one. It was always so exciting visiting as a child and waiting for the cuckoo to emerge from its little doorway on the hour. At mealtimes my sister and I would try and get the right seats at the table to give us a good view of the clock. The cuckoo gave a tantilizing performance as it was so quickly in and out of its door that it was hard to see what it was really like. A few years ago it was amusing to find out that a cousin of mine had done precisely the same thing when they visited my grandparent's place.

Doespins said...

Thanks for the link Peter. I've been having trouble sending you a comment but will see if this works.
Really enjoyed visiting your newly revamped studio and meeting Laura.

Peter said...

Hi Doe,

Sorry that you have had trouble sending me a comment, but... well done, this one has got through. Glad you enjoyed the visit, we certainly enjoyed meeting you both.

If you can remember what you did, it might be helpful for others to know what sort of trouble you had when you tried to leave a comment, and what you did to fix it?? I am hoping to discover if the problem is browser related, or if it is something else. So, even if you can't recall the sequence of events, it would be really helpful to know what internet browser you use?

Best Wishes, P.

Peter said...

Testing new settings, hope they improve things.


Jewels said...

Hello Peter!
Your place looks great! It is wonderfully artsy, warm and inviting. I love it! I could spend hours dreamily taking in all Laura’s and your art!
I have been having trouble getting kicked off your site and leaving comments. I assumed it was because I have dial-up connection, but I see from the comments on your site others are having problems. The browser I usually use is Windows Explorer. I have tried opening your site with Firefox with the same results.
All the best to you, Laura and Ginger!

Peter said...

Thanks so much for that Jewels, lovely to hear from you. I'm sorry that you too have had trouble leaving comments. As you will see, I have recently made a small change so that the comments come up as a popup. For some reason I can now leave comments on my own site using Firefox since making this change, when it had stopped working for me before, and I take it from your comment here, that it must have worked for you too! Useful to know that it has been a problem with Windows Explorer as well as with Firefox.

Blaaaah to technology!

Best Wishes to you, Peter

Dad said...

Well, having applied some of the sort of patience you showed when putting a renewed PClinuxOS on my computer, I think that THIS time you'll actually get to see my comment!
I eventually had to start a new account with Google to do it... Sigh!

Anyway folks I can confidently say that your visits to the OPO would be well worth while, both to see the artwork and to meet the inhabitants - assuming that any rodents have already been welcomed by Ginger - to whom I send my best purrs.

Peter said...

Thanks for that Dad, I'm glad that the computer is computing and that the comment system seems to be working better at last!

Ginger is deprived of his rodents these days by Big Puss, who seems to get there first! G. receives your purrs with gracious pleasure! P.

Bethany said...

peter, i absolutely love this picture because i have a clock almost identical to this. except, mine has three hanging pine cones and when it's time to "ding-cock-coo!" there are people that dance around it. I love it more than anything =)