22 May 2013

open studios

no longer a launderette!
so i'm frantically trying to give the studio a make-over before open studios start on saturday 25th. i'm artist 149 at 22 lower market street, penryn. unfortunately i can't be there myself this saturday as my sister is getting married (at quite short notice!) but a lovely friend will be holding the fort and i will be there sun, weds, thurs, fri and the following sat and sun from 11-5pm. he will be fully briefed but may not be wearing the smock and beret i've been trying to tempt him with!

the discovery of two fireplaces has meant that i'm not as far on as i was anticipating with the studio renovations and i don't have any electricity. but i can make tea on my tranja and although the toilet's in a bit of a state it can be used. anyone with high standards about these things might prefer something less dark and draughty!

i will have a display of all the interesting objects i've found behind the walls, in nooks and crannies and in the fireplaces. it's a chance to see the studio as it progresses and i'd love to meet any historians and locals who can tell me more about the building and it's former uses (as well as anyone who has experience with old walls!).

the window cleaners came yesterday and were appalled by the state of them! they said they'd seen worse but would have to come back again today to finish the job. so it might be more than the £2 quoted. still, there was a moment where the curtains were down and light was streaming through in a way i've not seen it before which was great. i suddenly felt very exposed to the world and replaced the curtains quickly again. lots of different thoughts for how it can be permanently. maximum light but without being overlooked. when i told them i was opening to public on saturday, they laughed!

there have been some road works going on just up the hill which has meant that the section of road outside the shop has been closed. i was thinking it'd be great if it was still the same next week as i could extend my territory, put deck chairs outside and have a little street party. when asking the men at work i inadvertently made their day - "no one EVER wants the road works to continue" beamed a man in a hard hat down a hole. sadly they are due to finish on friday, unless i can conjure up some distractions!

oh yes, and i've suddenly decided to take up the floor tiles which looks much nicer. but it's very time consuming, addictive and like a hard drugs habit....... i keep having to do just one more line. hopefully most of them will be gone very soon and my state of euphoria will have been cheap and worth it.

hope to see you sometime in the week x

floor chipping addiction!

15 May 2013

driftwood adventure

a couple of weeks ago i was feeling very tired from all the physical work i've been doing with the studio and decided it was time for an afternoon off. it was a stunningly beautiful day so i made my way by ferry to the hammock of happiness - a lovely big homemade hammock that someone has tied up on the beach for those lucky enough to find it. on my way i came across a wonderful and very heavy piece of driftwood. it was too heavy for me to lift so i heaved and shunted and rolled it above the tide line thinking how great it would be to build it into the new studio.

now i'm quite stubborn and having already struggled to move it this far i started wondering how i could get it home. the best way, i thought, would be to tow it behind a kayak. but it was too far for me to go on my own and i didn't know if it'd be possible to tow something so large. also, i'm no expert kayaker. so plan b involved borrowing a kayak trolley from a friend and hoping i could wheel it along the coast to the nearest road where we could put it in a car. 

it turned out to be a long and epic adventure! and one that has left me still aching two days later. a very kind friend agreed to help me and between us we wheeled it over rocks, along the beach, up some wooden stairs, up some muddy steps, along the coast path, over two styles, through a small stream, a lot further along the coast path and finally to the nearest road.

one of the most interesting stages was when i set out alone and eventually came to the first style. we realised that there was no way we could tow it back the way we'd come which involved going up the very steep hill and across a dry cow-hoofed field. so my friend retraced his steps to move the car to another further but flatter pick up point. i met four elderly  people out walking who warned me i was about to come to a style. they were all a bit cynical. i then met a lovely and very enthusiastic couple with a baby coming the opposite way and the man insisted on turning around and coming with me back to the style so he could help me over with it. brilliant! all was going well but then i came upon the second style. i waited with my wood. there was nobody around. finally a lady approached but her black labrador was terrified of the wood and took many attempts to summon up enough courage to pass by. she was friendly but more concerned about her dog. a very trendily dressed man hurried by without acknowledging me at all. he didn't look like he'd want to get dirty or do any lifting. and then a very friendly lady offered to help and we got chatting. by the time we'd finished my friend turned up and she left saying that she'd come and see it in my studio! it was interesting to experience the range of people's reactions as i waited stranded by a style with a piece of wood i couldn't move on my own. in some ways i wanted to stay for longer and turn it into a social experiment!

tips for next time :

1- make sure the tyres are fully inflated
2- wear gloves as the rope cuts into your hands
3- use a ratchet strap instead of rope to tie it to the trolley
4- bring food! 
5- advertise open studios on the side!

ready to go

back in the studio serving as a temporary bench