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is a co-op the answer?(long reply)

updated mon 31 mar 97


Lisa or Ginny on fri 7 mar 97

P. F. Shelor wrote:
> How have some of you gotten started with home setups with very limited
> options for space?

I live with my wife, 3 cats and 1 dog in a condominium that is 1008
square feet. There is NOT ONE SPARE SQUARE INCH in this house. I had
to get rid of the double bed in the front bedroom and get one of those
dorm lofts so I could have some space to store my pots in boxes between

Last summer I bought my wheel and put it out on the patio, covered with
one of those big black things made for a gas grill (about $18 at
walmart). We bought a shelving unit from Home Depot that will hold
1000lbs. and put it in the TINY storage room with 500lbs. of clay on it,
and I fired downtown at the communal studio where I learned to throw.

There are a couple of problems with this: 1. I am subject to the whims
of Mother Nature. If it rains or is cold, I can't throw, 'cuz the wheel
is outdoors. 2. I have to pack up my pots and drive 'em across town
because I don't own a kiln (YET), and this is a problem because 1. I am
lazy., and 2. sometimes they break, not necessarily in that order.
I think the good outweighs the bad. Yeah, I have to keep the clay
cleaned off the patio slab, and sometimes the cats walk in it and I have
Black Raven or Gray Speck (Kickwheel trade names) on my carpet, but I get
to throw on my own wheel in my own space, wearing what ever I want, (or
not), I don't have to get dressed and drive downtown, I don't have to
clean up after other people BEFORE I can throw, and (Theoretically, at
least) I can throw at any hour of any day I choose.

A coop may be a good idea, but keep these things in mind:
1. Your space may be limited by the hours the building is open.
2. You WILL be subject to the whims and desires of others.
3. At least one person who works in your studio is sure to be a pig and
will, on a regular basis, fail to clean up after him/herself. This
will NOT be offset by the one person in your studio who is a cleaning
freak. The cleaning freak will get fed up with the pig, and there
will be strife.

Whatever you do, have fun with it.
Lisa Skeen
Living Tree Pottery
Greensboro, NC