Saturday, April 27, 2013

More Big News!

We have another teacher on board!  She is Rose Mavis, a painter from Bethlehem who has been active in the local art community for many years.  She is a member of the National Association of Art Educators, a longtime member of the Bethlehem Palette Club and a graduate of Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. 

To see more of Rose's work, please go to:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Big, Big News!!!

We are excited to announce that we have our first teacher on board!  Her name is Melissa Perhamus and she's an amazingly talented and creative local artist who shares our vision of making art more accessible to everyone.  We’re thrilled to have her!

Check out some more of Melissa's work:

Everyone's an Artist...

...even dairy farmers and CPA's!

One of the things we've learned along our journey as we talk to more and more people about our little venture, is that everyone seems to have an innate desire to create. 

Yesterday morning two older gentlemen came to our building all the way from Susquehanna County to pick up the tanker desks that we sold on eBay.  They weren't very talkative or overly-friendly, but certainly not rude, either – all business. "I guess they just don't emote" as Tom put it.  It was a transaction with very few words exchanged…until one of them, who had mentioned in passing that he’s a dairy farmer, asked what we were going to use the building for.  When we told him it was going to be an art studio, we fully expected the glazed-over look and the nodding head response that we sometimes get from people who think we’re crazy, but to our surprise his whole demeanor changed.  His eyes seemed to light up and a small smile crossed his lips.  He went on to tell us that he’s taking a photography class, and his daughter, a CPA who bought the desks for her office, is taking a drawing class. 

We’ve discovered people from all walks of life who have one thing in common - a passion to create something beautiful:  the architect we’ve known for years, but never knew was a pottery major in college because he gave it up when his kids and his new career came along; the veterinarian who regrets that she never pursued her desire to learn how to paint; the retired guy who dreams of opening a bookstore and draws sketches of birds on little scraps of paper; and now we can add a dairy farmer from Susquehanna County who wants to take better pictures and his CPA daughter who wants to draw. 
From the crudest drawings on prehistoric cave walls to the post-modern movement, art remains a powerful way for a person to communicate the human experience. The idea that this is not the sole province of the "formal" art establishment of critics, art professors, and professionals - indeed, that everyone is an artist, is what our project is all about.

Monday, April 8, 2013

You're "kiln" me!

Our new kiln arrived today!  780 pounds of sleek steel and brick, and one of the largest investments we're making in our crazy dream.  It's really happening - no turning back now!

Ain't she a beauty?
You probably can't read the brand name on the side of the kiln, but it's "Bailey."  I consider that a good luck sign!

Many thanks to Ed for, well, waiting around with me today when he should have been sleeping! :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Just "Plugging" Along...

Next project is plugging all of the holes in the wood floor upstairs.  There are a lot of them.  I stopped counting at 50, not because I can't count any higher, but because I couldn't bear to see just how many damn holes we're going to have to plug. 

After a little experimenting, Tom got the process down to a science.  Here's how it goes: we bought a piece of red oak hardwood and we drill plugs out of it to fit into the holes in the floor.

This could double as a whacker when the kids act up - very aerodynamic, and very hard.
The holes in the floor are all different sizes, so Tom has to drill out various sized plugs.  Then, he either has to drill out a hole around the existing hole in the floor, or, if it's a close fit, file the hole out to make it a little larger to fit the plug.  A little wood glue around the plug, fit it in and voila!  Repaired floor!  Once we sand and varnish the floor, the hope is that the plugs blend in somewhat with the original floor - and if they don't, well, it beats having holes in the floor!

Fool your friends with a "wine cork" made out of red oak hardwood!

Checking to see how the plug holds up to "the hammer test."  It passed!

Really?  6 holes in a row?  Necessary or overkill?  You decide.

Many of the holes are oddly shaped and go through both the floor and support beams, so you can see straight down to the basement through them.

Not sure if you can really get a sense of just how thick the floor and support beams are from this, but man, they're thick!

Success!  An elephant wearing high heels could step on this bad boy, and it's not going anywhere!
We got 19 holes done in a few days, but now that we know the drill (pun intended), we're hoping it will go much faster now.