Thursday, March 12, 2015

The end...or should we say the beginning!

It's been an extremely long 2-1/2 years but we finally made it!  When we look back at how far we've come we're kind of amazed!  Our dream has become a reality and our studios are now open!!

For those of you unfamiliar with what we offer, here it is in a nutshell:

We offer studio space and equipment on an hourly rental basis.  You do not have to be taking a class. We have a painting/drawing studio, a printmaking studio with a Conrad E-37 etching press, a pottery studio with 6 Brent wheels and a large electric kiln, and a B&W photography darkroom with 2 enlargers.

All studio access is $10/hour; $55 day; $95/week or $150/month.

No commitments!  No memberships!  Just come down and create on your own terms!

We also offer instruction in all areas by top notch teachers.  Classes begin first week of April.

Drop by and take a look around!  We are open:
Tuesday 10-9
Wednesday: 12-10
Thursday-Saturday 10-9
Sundays 1-8
Closed on Mondays

Visit our website at or call us at 610-807-9201.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

We're getting there!

Things are really moving along!  We had our building inspection yesterday and it went well, except for a few minor things we need to do/fix.  Nothing we can't handle.  We are in the process now of having all of the electrical work done - and there was a lot of it!  We practically had to have the entire place rewired.  Our electrician would work on one outlet and find that the wires were bare or the wrong size, and have to rewire it.  Everything he touched seemed to open another can of worms.  I guess when you're dealing with a 100 year old building, things like this are bound to happen.  It turned out to be a MAJOR job, but it's more than halfway done.  In the next couple of weeks, he's going to wire the pottery studio for the wheels and kilns and do various other work downstairs, and then that phase of the project will be done.  (Phase, get it?  Electrical humor).

Tom and I are in the process of cleaning and setting up, as well as finishing the million little details that need to be done.  But we have made major progress since our last post, as we hope the following pictures will attest to!

The press is moved upstairs and set up

The front desk/reception area is all set up

A peek behind the front counter

Some really cool drafting files we scored last year - they'll hold paper and some retail supplies like brushes and paints

The comfy lounge is all set up.

Starting to fill the coffee table with art books

The gallery lighting has been installed

The private lesson room is all set up

The basement is really shaping up!  Floor painted, new paneling on the back wall and a fresh coat of paint on the
right wall and support beams.

The rendering studio is being set up with easels and stools.

The pottery studio is just waiting for the wheels to be set up

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rome wasn't built in a day...

...if it was we would have hired the same contractor!

Why have we been away from this blog for so long, you might ask?  Well, it’s because we’ve been super busy getting stuff done!  Our new contractor is amazing, and we’ve accomplished an incredible amount of things in the last couple of months and are delighted to share them with you!

The handicap ramp is done!

The mat cutting station is built!

The elevator is being prepped for gallery lighting

The gallery windows are covered and ready for painting

The furniture for the lounge is bought!  Black leather sofa, love seat, chair and large ottoman (we'll use it as a
coffee table).  So comfortable!

The classroom has walls and doors!

The darkroom is getting set up!

Custom-built enlarger tables

Darkroom sink set up

New tile and lighting in foyer

Front offices are almost done

Pottery studio is beginning to take shape!

5 brand new pottery wheels delivered!

Back basement wall paneled and painted

All emergency lighting installed

Just for fun, this is how the foyer looked when we first bought the place...

This is after we pulled the linoleum and paneling off...

And today!

Some of the other things we've done/are being done:

Phone and internet service hooked up
Alarm system to be installed in the next week or two
Website being worked on
Basement floor will be painted next week
Gallery lighting getting installed in next week or two
A million other little things

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beam us up!

Big changes afoot at The Art Establishment!  First, we cut ties with our contractor of a year and a half.  The work was proceeding waaaaay too slowly, was becoming way too expensive and the quality was becoming shoddy.  So, we hired a new contractor last Monday and fired our old contractor the next day.  New beginnings!  Our new guy, Oscar, has proven to be an honest and hardworking guy.  The first thing he wanted to do was re-do the support beams that our old contractor reinforced with concrete last year. Oscar didn't like the look of the cracks in the concrete.

Remember this?:

The idea was to cut the beams off at the bottom because they were compromised due to moisture damage, then pour concrete into a mold surround and when it dried, we would have a beam supported by concrete under and around it.  Well, our old contractor did 4, and we started noticing cracks.  Then the cracks got bigger.  So yesterday Oscar  knocked the concrete off , and lo and behold...the old contractor had only cut 2 of the beams and the other 2 he didn't bother to cut, but just poured concrete around. This just hid the problem and did not fix it.  Here's what we found:

This is one of the beams that should have been cut.  The bottom was rotted halfway through.

This beam actually was cut, but with rotted wood left in it.  Why not cut it off above the rot to strengthen it?
Oscar is on the job now, and when we left him at 5:00 this evening, he was mixing concrete to patch the floor under the beams.  When we came back at 9:00, this is what we found:

In under 4 hours, he had put supports up alongside 4 of the beams, cut those other 2 beams off, and patched the concrete floor under all 4 beams.  Amazing!

In other news, progress has been slow but steady.  Here's what's been happening:

The upstairs bathroom is finished!  Just needs some paint touch ups and a good cleaning.

The new block glass windows in the upstairs bathroom - letting light in but still
maintaining privacy!

The block glass from the outside.



The downstairs bathroom is done!

We now have a small deck outside of the loading dock!

The front offices are drywalled, spackled and ready to be painted.  New flooring laid!

The front foyer is ready to have tile laid.

So that's all the news for now.  Stay tuned!  Hopefully things will start proceeding at warp speed!