Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How to overcome acrophobia in 3 easy steps!

1.  Buy a building with really high ceilings that are in bad shape.
2.  Be on such a tight budget that you don't want to/can't pay a painter to paint them.
3.  Get up on a ladder and do it yourself.

Tom and I both suffer from acrophobia (a fear of heights).  That's why these pictures will be so surprising.  They still are shocking to us.  This week, we are doing "high up" work which simply needs to get done.  So we did it.  High up.  No nets!

Tom was over in the corner sitting on top of the darkroom priming
the ceiling, while I was busy cleaning the top of the ductwork.
Top of the ductwork.  Gross.

How high up I was.

How high up I felt.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A little history

Occasionally I Google Chipman Knitting Mills, South Bethlehem and I recently found this excerpt from a book titled "Moodys Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities, Volume 1."  We already knew that our building was built as a satellite location for the larger Chipman Knitting Mills in Easton, but this tells us what was in our building.  According to this, it housed 188 knitting machines, 73 loopers and 19 sewing machines. 

Looks like the Chipmans were doing pretty well for themselves...those are some mighty large numbers on their balance sheet for 1920 and 21. 

This is a photo of a London hosiery mill c. 1914-17.  It's interesting because
it's around the same time Chipman was in operation and they're using
circular knitting machines which were used to make socks and stockings. 
I can only guess that these may be similar to the machines used in our building.
Note the support beams which are so similar to ours.   

This is a photo of a looper.  A looper attaches a toe portion to a sock, in case
you didn't know (I didn't!).  In this photo, eleven year old Nannie Colson can
be seen working as a looper at the Crescent Hosiery Mill
in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, 1914. 

Here's a photo, c. 1918, of one of the workers and a pile of the heavy wool
socks made for the government at Chipman Knitting Mills, Easton. 
I would assume these socks were issued to soldiers serving in WWI.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Since the front of the building was getting painted, we decided to do a little sprucing up on the side of the building by the parking lot.  It's amazing what a little paint will do, not to mention 15 bags of mulch.

A little bit of paint makes it look like we spent big bucks
on new brick work (hopefully!).  Fauxtastic!
I was a little sorry to have to paint over this graffiti, since it made me chuckle.  Apparently, rock does not rule anymore, but hip hop does.  "Holla!"

We've got some front...

The front of the building has been painted!  We think it looks fabulous, and it's definitely a vast improvement over what it was.  At some point the previous owners put brick coating over the existing real brick.  We're guessing it was because in 1978 a car plowed into the front of the building taking out the front steps and probably damaged the brick in the front.  Brick coating only lasts so long, and its expiration date was fast approaching.

Just to remind you what the front looked like before:

And now:

Now to get the trim around the front door painted, new aluminum around the windows to replace the rust-stained old stuff, and our new awning, and it will look even better!

The new front doors look great, and we can actually lock them when it's humid or rainy, unlike the

old ones which were almost completely worn out.  Our contractor couldn't save the old transom because it was too rotted and damaged, and I was a little heartbroken because I like to keep things original as much as possible, but once I saw the new transom he put in, I got over it in a hurry.

Here's what the door used to look like:

 And here's what they look like now:

Stay tuned...more improvements coming!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Another terrific teacher!

I never get tired of writing blog posts about the great teachers who have been joining us!  We recently met an incredibly talented artist, Lorie Reinhard, and we are so thrilled that she's excited about our project and on board as a teacher! 

Lorie graduated from Moravian College (go 'Hounds!) with a BFA, and recently completed her MFA from the Figurative Painting Academy of Art University, CA.  She's also studied at the Barnstone Studios.  She has taught at the Banana Factory and LCCC, and is currently an art teacher and Director of Visual Arts at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. 

Please take a few minutes to check out some more of her beautiful work:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Introducing our new ceramic arts teacher!

We mentioned in passing previously that we had a new teacher on board - but we'd like to properly introduce her.  She's Jennifer Schilling-Horvath, and she's an incredibly talented, award-winning ceramic artist. 

We feel so fortunate to have connected with her!  Jenn is a fine arts teacher at Phillipsburg High School and her artwork is simply breathtaking. 

We are very excited that Jenn is on board!  Please take a few minutes to look at some more of her incredible ceramic pieces: