Sitting here inside of the now freshly opened Tatte Bakery and Cafe, I get to write to you all about why I "went for it," and decided to open a second studio here in the South End of Boston. As most of you may already know from posts I make public, I am a jeweler and metalsmith that puts a strong focus on porcelain jewelry settings and other natural stones I have been loving. What has never been too easy for you to see is my home life, and with it, the thrown pottery and slip cast work I create for my husband and I to use at home.
Over the many years, my friends would come over for dinners --or cocktail competition gatherings!-- and ask me why I didn't sell the pieces they were eating off of. The honest answer was because I just plain didn't want to deal with it. "It" being the shipping worries, the additional and unfortunate need for more paper packaging, etc. But most importantly for me, all the additional testing involved to make sure a product is/was food safe for each batch fired. I'm already a serious couch-chemist when it comes to researching the material science of things and how they may interact with each other. I'm lucky enough to have friends and family that are Material Scientists and have had the exciting pleasure of even chatting with Historical Art Conservators about my findings and what they know and don't know because most of my questions are not normal; but they help me to design and think through my final process in my work.
But, boy do I digress!
I got the final push that crumbled my wall of protection and worry about moving full-force forward with a -Home- line of ceramic wares. Roughly two months later, this studio space in the South End came knocking on my email door while I struggled to find the physical space in my current Joy Street Studio. I had a bit of a NO!...yes!.. No no no! Maybe I could, yes? Come to... reality moment. Opening a second studio both freaked me out and seemed to push all the right buttons to light a fire that was only unfortunately not for a wood-burning kiln. But definitely a serious motivator to get things figured out logistically if I expanded and separated my two studio practices.
So here we are! One studio for metal/jewelry work, and one studio for ceramic vessel work. The sense of organization is huge in a way that only a two-part business would benefit from. Jewelers never understood why I had such a big space that was so full, and ceramicists were like... what is all of this? So, yeah, separating out the two industries I have made into one because I usually have to shape, cut, fire, and carve my own stones before setting them is pretty life changing. Most jewelers (not all) are not going to be shaping their own stones, let alone firing them. That kind of work takes space and requires some large equipment. Mine come in the form of multiple kilns, a polishing cabinet, and a single lapidary setup. It's pretty much the dream, what can I say?
Most of my finished work will reside at the new SoWa studio since nearly every Sunday, until infinitum, the studio building is open for visitors to wander through. An artist's door is almost always open, and if not, you can usually look through a window into their space. It's fun! Plus, the space at SoWa that I have now is for metal work and workshops, so it will be much more spacious because jewelry work doesn't need to take up much space at all. You can technically get away with one very tightly organized bench setup. But... I like to sprawl. ;)
So yes. Workshops! They have been on the back burner for some time and now that there is more space once again, they are going back on the schedule of things to make and do. I was most excited about bringing those back after I ran out of space due to production a few years ago. Sign-ups will be available online and there is also a separate Workshop Newsletter that is availabe to sign-up and get notified about upcoming workshops. Feel free to join that list here so you can find some of what Boston has going on for Creative Workshops.
The new studio location is great at SoWa since it is right near the Redline T. I always used to forget that, but the closest stop is Broadway, less than 0.5 mile from here, and if you know me... I love any chance to walk and get that "European Life!" Also known as, any city living. I haven't lived in Boston since I was in the Back Bay (Beacon and Clarendon) before getting Chloe, our Rhodesian Ridgeback. But even though I'm still not living here, it feels really good to be back and kind of perfect. I never wanted to leave the Somerville studio. I love the area and my studio space and neighbors are like ...not strangers, and friendly! But new changes can also keep you fresh and in tune with a little bit of the public reality. SoWa is quite public, and folks are welcomed into the building at all times of the week which is a nice surprise. Not only is the SoWa Market happening from May - October every Sunday, but they have the South End vibe happening, which includes the galleries, and the food scene, and the little sweet shops owned by lovely local folks that have chosen to be in a more walkable location.
You'll be seeing more of my ceramic wares and should feel comfort in knowing that --I'm-- more comfortable! The ceramic studio will be happily staying at Joy Street Studios in Somerville until further updates. I'm really excited for this new change and hope you'll get the chance to visit me at one of them!
Lots and lots of Best!