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Construction Almost Underway at Paonia Studio


Paonia Studio Almost Ready for Construction

Oh Paonia, my soon-to-be-home, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Construction at the house is up and running and the studio space is soon to follow. There’s a lot of back and forth right now, but I’m trying to keep my time in Paonia as minimal as possible and my time in the studio at a maximum. I got a chance to pop down to the Western Slope this last weekend before the fair starts and it was much needed. Not only for me, but for my son Kenny, who’s holding down the fort and desperately requested groceries and wine.

He’s been diligently mowing the grass at the house and attending Saturday night karaoke at Louie’s Pizzeria. I brought the furbabies with me and left Bob and Clarence behind. Bob loves Kenny more than anyone and couldn’t be more happy to be with him. Clarence escaped the house at least eight times while I was there, so it’s safe to say he’s an outdoor cat now. And Happy came back down to Parker with me, so we’re down to one studio pup these days. Now for the nitty gritty details of what’s going on with the house and studio.

As with any 110 year old house, I knew there would be foundation issues. And of course I knew it would be a bit of a headache to deal with. In a small town like Paonia the building inspector only comes into town twice a week. Naturally, the timeline to fix the foundation was extended. This last month has been a lot of waiting for good news, hitting refresh on my email inbox for updates and frantically trying to answer my phone with clay-covered hands every time it rang.

But after a month of major foundation repairs I can finally say that the repairs will be complete the day after Memorial Day. I must admit I’m very relieved I was not there to see the foundation work unfold, because the pictures were anxiety-inducing enough from far away. But the foundation work was extremely necessary and now that it’s out of the way I’m glad to be able to move on to other projects. Next on the house list is the boiler, followed by a new fence to keep the furbabies in. With a few minor details after that the house will start feeling like home.

On to the (most) important project, drumroooooll… The new studio! The studio space will be started the first weekend of June. There is a detached two and a half car garage just behind the house that will become the studio. It’s the perfect amount of space and not much smaller than the current studio. First on the list is to add two full glass doors by replacing one door and adding another to let plenty of natural light in. Second on the list is to run electricity out to the studio. The kilns require A LOT of electricity. And as much heat as the kilns generate, we still need heat in the studio so I don’t freeze my fingers and toes off during the winter, brrr! Add insulation, drywall and paint scattered with inspections in between and we’ve got a full summer ahead to get that studio up and running.

Despite a few small hiccups everything is right on track to be complete for my big Paonia transition. Is it August yet? No? Just checking.