Sunday, January 17, 2010

An Underground Studio

For most ceramic artists and most likely any type of artist, the thought of setting up a workspace in a dark, dank basement would make them cringe.

Its one of those situations that typically occurs to artists as a last resort. This happens to be my case, although I have worked in basements in the past, the one in our home scared me.

It looked like it was straight out of the Silence of the Lambs. All it needed was a 15ft. deep pit and a poodle named Precious.

If your asking why wouldn't I set up a studio in the barn? The answer is there is no insulation, and the cost to insulate it would be a fortune.

Some day that will happen, but for now the basement I must go.

I started by raking up all the debris from the dirt floor and then began to shop vac all the walls, beams and any surface that was there.
As I was cleaning I started to fall in love with the fact that my studio would actually have stone walls.

I continued to clean for the rest of the day and even washed the walls to make sure there wasn't a speck of dust.
When I was complete I sat down on a chair and looked around and thought to myself " I could get used to this".

The next day I went down and started to hang inspirational images that I have collected over the years, to bring some warmth to the space.
I moved around shelving and tables till it was just felt right. This is the result.

I know its most likely not a dream studio or even close, but its suits my purpose.

So now it's time to get to work and create with clay again!


  1. I love this space probably because it reminds me of my own farmhouse basement, before we insulated it. My city friend always told me it looks like the walls had been bleeding. Sort of a ode to Amityville. I think lighting is the key here and some really good cleaning. I'm sure you will do great things in this space.

  2. Hey Sewbeeit!

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so happy that you get the whole horror show feel, Amity, Silence of the lambs, with a little Shining thrown in the mix!

    But, Yes lighting is key! It makes the space come alive in a strange way....

    Ill be down there this weekend making pots, check back sometime soon to see what I'm up to....

    Thanks Again, Todd

    P.S. Your blog is great as well!

  3. Thanks, Todd, for the inspiration! Until spring hits New England and I can move to the barn I, too, have set up a clay space in my basement. Your studio has pushed me to upgrade my two hundred year old subterranean world!

    I love what I see of your pottery, too! I'm new to clay and loving it!

    Thank you!


  4. Hey Kate!

    Spring is coming soon, the crocus and snowdrops will be emerging soon and the song birds will return....

    Its not so bad down in the " subterranean world". I have been working down there all weekend with a little space heater, hot almost boiling water, and some music to keep me comfortable.

    The basic elements of warmth help, but good lighting and the addition of my inspiration boards make it really cozy.

    I would love to see your work and studio, please send me some images...and stay tuned for I will be posting some sneak peaks of what I have been creating down in the Cornwallville dungeon.

    Keep in touch Kate!

  5. Todd, you never cease to amaze me! I can't wait to see this in person. Looks quite cozy.