douglas fur on sat 18 jul 09
There's a bad joke at my men's al-anon meeting "and my wife had become
I don't think its my role to manage my wife but I think her "no way' stance
on my having a studio in the garage and a kiln in the backyard is
This is an open call to the community to ask "What's your experience?" with
a studio in the suburbs.
This is not a neighbor hood with restrictive covenants or fancy houses. Th=
electrician around the corner has a shop instead of a garage for his
business. A couple blocks in the other direction a couple run a sound syste=
business from a shop in back of their house. Essentialy the neighborhood i=
firemen, medical tech.s, teachers, gov't workers.
But when I started to fire the test kiln I'd made the "Fecal matter impacte=
the air handling device"
One mea culpa is that we'd had this discussion before and I built this on
the Q.T. thinking we had a don't ask don't tell undestanding.
Snail Scott on sun 19 jul 09
On Jul 18, 2009, at 3:56 PM, douglas fur wrote:
> ...a studio in the garage and a kiln in the backyard...
A well managed fuel firing shouldn't create much
of a public nuisance. What were the neighborhood's
objections? Ask for specifics, so that you can address
their particular concerns in a focused and conciliatory
way. A lot of people work in suburban settings for many
reasons, especially if it's not their primary income,
and some even if it is.
You may have to go electric if you haven't already,
but that may not be the style-cramper you might
think it is. It's very convenient, and doesn't look
scary to visitors. Even if your local electric rates are
high (mine used to be insane), it's probably cheaper
that renting a studio space. If you can fit your current
and anticipated near-term practice into your home
garage space, do it. You have to sell a lot of extra
stuff to pay the extra rent, so use the space you're
already paying for for as long as you can.
I worked in a suburban garage and fired (electrically)
in the side yard after covering it over with clear plastic
corrugated roofing. I asked my immediate neighbors
about it first, but none of them even noticed it when
it was finished. As long as I wasn't attracting traffic, no
one had a problem. A lot of them liked the idea that I
was home during the day, looking out at the street
from the open garage door or the window - more
security for everyone, maybe.
It wasn't a fancy area, but it had a lot of house-proud
older folks competing in some undeclared perfect-lawn
pentathlon. As long as my yard looked OK, I was OK.
(If I'd let it slip, you'd still be searching for my body.)
Good rule of thumb - be a good neighbor otherwise,
even to the annoying ones, and you're more likely to
get away with the occasional eccentricity like a backyard
kiln. Mollification: it's cheaper and easier than litigation.
Lee Love on sun 19 jul 09
On Sun, Jul 19, 2009 at 10:50 AM, June wrote:
> Why not buy one of those prefab type storage buildings and use that as a =
In Japan, you can buy small pre-fabbed studios.
Lee Love, Minneapolis
"The tea ceremony bowl is the ceramic equivalent of a sonnet: a
small-scale, seemingly constricted form that challenges the artist to
go beyond mere technical virtuosity and find an approach that both
satisfies and transcends the conventions." -- Rob Sliberman
full essay: http://togeika.multiply.com/journal/item/273/
ncwhite on sun 19 jul 09
No problem with the studio part, but are you talking an electric or gas
If the problem is a gas kiln, that can be a problem.
My neighbors would be very upset at the sight of fire or smoke, or the idea
BTW, are you forcing your wife to park on the street?
> On Jul 18, 2009, at 4:56 PM, douglas fur wrote:
>> There's a bad joke at my men's al-anon meeting "and my wife had become
>> I don't think its my role to manage my wife but I think her "no
>> way' stance
>> on my having a studio in the garage and a kiln in the backyard is
>> This is an open call to the community to ask "What's your
>> experience?" with
>> a studio in the suburbs........
June on sun 19 jul 09
Why not buy one of those prefab type storage buildings and use that as a st=
udio. Many zoning rules permit you have buildings, not on permanent foundat=
ions, and up to a certain size like 10X12, maybe=3DA0larger, without having=
o get any permits.=3DA0 They probably have property line requirements, so=
ust check your local=3DA0zoning for these types of structures.=3DA0=3DA0 =
have a one that I use as my gallery. I insulated it and had bead board put =
on the walls, shelving, had track lighting and indoor outdoor carpet instal=
: douglas fur =3D
<23drb50@GMAIL.COM>=3D0ATo: Clayart@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG=3D0ASent: Saturday, Ju=
8, 2009 4:56:36 PM=3D0ASubject: Is a studio in the suburbs unreasonable?=3D=
=3D0AThere's a bad joke at my men's al-anon meeting "and my wife had become=
=3D0Aunmanagable"=3D0AI don't think its my role to manage my wife but I thi=
er "no way' stance=3D0Aon my having a studio in the garage and a kiln in th=
backyard is=3D0Areasonable.=3D0A=3D0AThis is an open call to the community =
"What's your experience?" with=3D0Aa studio in the suburbs.=3D0A=3D0AThis =
a neighbor hood with restrictive covenants or fancy houses.=3DA0 The=3D0Ae=
rician around the corner has a shop instead of a garage for his=3D0Abusines=
A couple blocks in the other direction a couple run a sound system=3D0Abus=
ess from a shop in back of their house.=3DA0 Essentialy the neighborhood is=
=3D0Afiremen, medical tech.s, teachers, gov't workers.=3D0A=3D0ABut when I =
d to fire the test kiln I'd made the "Fecal matter impacted=3D0Athe air han=
ing device"=3D0A=3D0AOne mea culpa is that we'd had this discussion before =
I built this on=3D0Athe Q.T. thinking we had a don't ask don't tell undesta=
KATHI LESUEUR on sun 19 jul 09
On Jul 18, 2009, at 4:56 PM, douglas fur wrote:
> There's a bad joke at my men's al-anon meeting "and my wife had become
> I don't think its my role to manage my wife but I think her "no
> way' stance
> on my having a studio in the garage and a kiln in the backyard is
> This is an open call to the community to ask "What's your
> experience?" with
> a studio in the suburbs........
> One mea culpa is that we'd had this discussion before and I built
> this on
> the Q.T. thinking we had a don't ask don't tell undestanding.
My studio is right in the heart of Ann Arbor. Neighbors on either
side. A typical residential area. Ann Arbor is VERY artist friendly
and having a studio and kiln is not a problem. At one time there were
about thirty kilns in the city. I started out with a 2 1/2 car garage
and the kiln outside. I later added onto the garage to make it 4 1/2
cars. I then brought the kiln inside. There is a wall between the two
sections so that the kilns are on one side and throwing, etc on the
other. The kiln (gas kiln) side is lined with fire resistant drywall.
a hood over the kiln, and two wind turbines in the roof.
I've never had a problem. But, make sure that your insurance carrier
knows the studio is there. You will be best off going to an
independent agent who writes commercial lines. Tell them what you are
doing and get the proper insurance. Under NO circumstances let an
agent talk you into listing your studio as a hobby. If you sell
anything out of it and then have a loss they will consider it a
business. And, since you didn't tell them it was a business they will
deny your claim. It matters not that the pottery has nothing to do
with the loss. It could be a kitchen fire. But, if they don't know
the studio is there they will deny your claim because you withheld
information. I speak from experience with a close friend whose agent
listed his studio as a hobby. It burned down and State Farm denied
the claim because it was a business. He eventually sued the agent but
never collected what he should have.
Lis Allison on mon 20 jul 09
On Sunday 19 July 2009, KATHI LESUEUR wrote:
>. But, make sure that your insurance carrier
> knows the studio is there. You will be best off going to an
> independent agent who writes commercial lines. Tell them what you are
> doing and get the proper insurance. Under NO circumstances let an
> agent talk you into listing your studio as a hobby. If you sell
> anything out of it and then have a loss they will consider it a
> business. And, since you didn't tell them it was a business they will
> deny your claim.
Insurance is getting to be an enormous problem here in Ontario, Canada. I
have now heard of several potters who were denied coverage of any sort by
several different insurers because they had kilns. In one case the kiln
was propane-fired, and the house was log and in the country.... so it
almost made some sense, but the others have been electric kilns in non-log
houses in suburbs.
There are some cut-rate insurance suppliers out there who offer cheap
coverage but won't cover properties with, for example, large trees on
them. The potters I heard about were not using those.
And getting third-party or public liability coverage is practically
impossible at any price. Only one underwriter still offers it at all, and
we are talking big bucks here. So any potter making a regular thing of
having the public in to buy is taking a huge risk. Again, if something
happens and the insurer finds out you were running a public business, your
coverage could be affected. I don't know the full facts here, but I have
been told that this has not yet been tested in court so the first person
who runs into this could be in for an awful fight. So far we are all kind
of ignoring this, just like many of us are ignoring the zoning by-laws. In
my area at least, many if not most home studios are illegal. If it is in
the house, you are only allowed to use up to 10% of the square footage of
the house. In a separate building it can only be 1/3 of the square footage
of the house. My own (separate building) is about 100 sq. feet larger than
permitted. Getting a variance is practically impossible - it would mean
applying to change my zoning from residential to commercial, and you can
guess what that would run into. In my previous house the studio was in the
basement and I wasn't using more square feet than allowed, but my kiln
vent was illegal! Turns out you can't install a fan over a certain size
(tiny) that vents to the outside and is less than 20 feet from the ground
and less than 100 feet from the neighbour's lot. I found out when I asked
an electrician to install it.
By-laws like these make me furious, but I have to remind myself that all
the businesses who are currently paying all those extra costs and abiding
by all the dumb rules have a powerful interest in making sure I don't get
away cheaper. Fair is fair, and fair has a different face on each side of
Pine Ridge Studio