Fridays Weekend Column
Four Shirt Day
by James Glaser
Here in the South they have a different way of explaining just how hot it can get. I haven't been down here in the months of May, June, and July, but I had a taste of hot weather this week. I finally got to start moving into my new studio, and like I figured it would be, it was a hot day. "How hot was it, Jim?" Well I'll tell you how hot it was, it was a four shirt day.
That means that I soaked my shirt with perspiration so much that I had to change to a clean dry one three times. Humidity can get very high down here, and spending the day moving heavy tools, loads of plywood and boards, hand tools, and everything else that goes with my studio can be the kind of day that makes you take a shower and go to bed as soon as you get home. . . . which I did.
I moved everything I still had in the old studio on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday, I made my first thing in the new place. I built a nice, strong, good looking, level work table base. Thursday I built the top, attached it, and got two coats of white paint on the surface. It looks good, and it looks clean.
The new studio is in Railroad Square, what you might call an industrial park for artists. In the two block area of the park, there are over 80 studios, galleries, and small shops. As the brochure says, "Definitely not a mall-like environment."
My space was a woodworking studio for a man who turned out columns for huge southern mansions. His lathe could turn something twenty four feet long, with a five foot diameter. So as I am moving in the back door he is moving his heavy equipment out the front with a fork lift.
The studio space is twenty feet wide and seventy long. There is a roll up garage door front and back, so you could drive a truck right on through.
Also there is a twenty by twenty four loft that has a full bath and two rooms. I know people have lived up there, but I plan on using it for storage. Right now the whole space has a very dirty industrial look to it, and the 46 feet without the loft has 16 foot ceilings.
I have lots of ideas for the space, but I am going to wait and work in there for a bit before I start redoing it. I know I want a gallery space in the front, and my work area in the back. If nothing else, that will keep my finished things clean.
Right now it is kind of hard getting things done because other artists stop in to welcome me, and then they look at my work and start talking. I must admit that is lots of fun, but I want to get some things done, and unpack what I have brought in so far. I still have a storage unit filled with tools and a trailer filled with wood. I have to move it before another month's rent is due.
I am really happy moving in to this place. All I can see in front of me is work, but it is the work I want to do.
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