Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

On The Move Again
by James Glaser
December 4, 2009

In the past, I never liked to move, and that hasn't changed. But moving again is what I am about to do. I gave notice on my studio space in Railroad Square, and will have to be out by the first of the year.

I don't care what type of artist you are, nor how big your studio is, you are eventually going to fill it up. Woodworkers like me are probably the worst. Somebody gives you that nice holly board. It isn't really big enough to do anything with, but wow, it is a nice holly board, and who knows, you might just need it some day. Did you ever price a nice hardwood board? I have this wide mahogany board that is about nine feet long and 18 inches wide that I have been moving around for at least twenty years. My plan is for it to be a table top, and it will be some day... when I build that table. Somebody gave me the board. Actually, it was the top of an old bar in Northome, Minnesota, where I lived. It is beautiful—a select board in any lumber company. If I wanted to buy that board today, I would have to shell out a few hundred dollars, if I could find one like it. So it moves, along with a lot of other boards, wherever my studio goes.

Luckily, my son is a woodworker now, too. That means if I never get to using that board or others, he can think about the right project for them.

So, I'm leaving the Railroad Square Art Park. It has been nice, and I have done a lot of good work there. I'll miss my studio space, and I'll miss the people there, too. The artists down there are nice. If you need help, they give it, and you do the same for them if you can. The economy has hit the art market hard, and I am not the first person to leave the Art Park. People are moving their studios back home, probably where they were before getting a space in the Art Park.

I'm doing the same. I am moving my studio to Madison, Florida, where Wanda and I moved to last July. The cost of gas back and forth is hard, but the driving time is what is making me move. When I lived in Tallahassee, I could run down to the studio and put on another coat of finish or move the clamps to another part of a sculpture I was gluing up. Now the studio is over an hour away, and I can't do that.

I looked all around Madison for studio space to rent, but never found what I wanted or needed. What a perfect excuse that is to build my own studio. So, the move is on. I rented a 10x20 storage space and filled that right up in no time. I have this plan in my head about storing all the finished art work in one storage building we have on our property, and I think I can get all my big power tools in the other storage building we have.

My big work table, the last thing I'll be moving, will be outside under a tarp. I have been moving since July a little bit at a time, so this last month should not stress me out too much—that is if everything fits into the space I have envisioned it in. Right now I am making all the cuts I think I'll need on the band saw, so I can go ahead and move that home. Then comes the table saw. I'll saw up all the boards I haven't moved yet. Then the drum sander, and so on.

When everything is moved, then I'll start on my studio. I think it will take a long time, as I am going to build it myself, and I want it to be something special. From all these years of working, I know I want to be working on a wood floor. Concrete is nice, and it is fast to pour, but your legs, hips, and knees pay a price. So, wood floor, high ceiling, good light, easy access, a place to work outside with a roof over it, and eye appeal pretty much tells you what I want and need.

I don't need a big space, as I think large sculptures are in my past. I love doing them but they are so heavy to move, and then you have to store them. Besides, people just don't want big any more, unless you are going really monumental, and you really can't do those if you are working alone like I am.

No matter what I build, it will be interesting and fun. I want the studio to look as good as my art work does, and I guess I'll look at building the studio as it being a functional piece of art. I really can't wait to get started.

Florida. Florida is a wonderful place to work in the fall, winter, and spring. About the opposite of Minnesota. Not only could I not think about building a studio in the winter up North, I wouldn't want to move in the winter months either. So, I should have enough nice weather to get a good start on my new studio. At least I'll get it closed in, with my tools inside, and then I can spend as long as I want making it look the way I think it should. Ah, life is good!

Post Script:

All the cutting on the band saw and table saw is to give me the materials all cut out to make things while I am building the studio. Yes, there is always work to do.

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