Sunday, April 5, 2009

Studio In A Garden

Carpenter Bee on Wisteria

I was amazed to see this carpenter bee sipping nectar from a wisteria flower. I always wanted a wisteria covered patio, so when we moved here I planted a wisteria vine at each end of a large patio we built outside my studio almost five years ago. The wisteria, which now completely covers the pergola, is spectacular in bloom, but it also provides much needed shade during the scorching summer months.

Wisteria Covered Patio
Steps from My Studio Entrance

South Side of Studio

I promised my blogger friend, Amy, of Amy's Clay Ventures, I'd post photos of my studio. So come along for a tour of my studio located in the heart of my garden. But before I show you around, for those of you just checking in, let me back up. My studio was originally designed as a gift shop for my lavender farm, Springville Lavender Gardens. I sited the building between venerable old willow trees to block the scorching summer sun from heating up the building in summer. I installed a sliding door facing south to take advantage of the winter sun to warm the building.

North Side of Studio

Last September I decided to re purpose my gift shop into my studio. Since then I've been reorganizing and moving things around as my needs change. I consider my studio space a work in progress much like my garden. Originally I had my slab roller, made by a friend of mine, inside the studio, but found out there wasn't enough room to remove the shims, so I moved the slab roller into the garage.

Drying Shelves

As you enter the studio on the right side I have my drying shelves, my work table and some more shelving to house my supplies and implements of clay construction. For drying shelves, I picked up these snap together plastic shelving units at a local hardware store. I can either place my bats, wooden ware boards, or wall boards on the shelving to let my green ware dry.

Studio Work Table

My work table was another hardware store purchase and it is sturdy enough to roll out small slabs of clay and since it's plastic it is easy to clean. This is the working part of the studio and since most of my pieces are hand built, this table gets quite a workout. Hey, it's a work table, it's supposed to be messy! Check out all the stuff I have stored underneath. There never seems to be enough room.

If you were reading my blog last week you read about my newest addition, a shimpo wheel some friends brought over and we set up to throw standing up. The wheel is just outside the door, under the willow tree.

Studio Display Shelves

On the other side of the studio are tall shelving units which I picked up at a local garage sale. The shelves are adjustable and are made of birch plywood. For now I have left the shelves natural. I display my finished ceramic pieces on these shelves to sell. On the far left shelf, I still carry a supply of lavender products like soaps, lotions, sachets, candles, etc., which I also sell in my studio.

Since my studio is 10 x 12 feet, it is hard to get a complete shot of any one section of the room, but I hope you get a feel for the layout. I also have a storage cabinet outside the front door on the left (which I intend to paint green one of these days) and a shelf on the right which I can put pottery in nice weather, which is most of the year.

Kiln on Screen Porch

My kiln with a view is located on our back screen room, so I carry pieces up to the back of the house to fire them. I do my glazing outside the screen room on another table. For all intents and purposes, I have a progressive studio, like a progressive dinner. Each step requires a move to another location. Previous readers know that my home is for sale and now you know one of the reasons. I'm hoping to move to a location where all parts of the studio are located under one roof or at least close by.

Betty, Butter, and Binky

If you are in the area, please stop by for a visit. You can visit with me in my studio, stroll in the garden, or sit on a bench and enjoy the views. The tour guides, Betty, Butter, and Binky, will be glad to show you around the studio and gardens, they also know all the best spots to relax in the shade.


  1. Hi Linda, lovely to see your studio, your garden, and your friendly (I hope) Carpenter Bee. Salutations to the admirable Betty, Butter, and Binky, of whom we are enormously impressed, from the inhabitants of the Old Post Office in New Zealand, who also love cats. Sadly many miles of rather wet ocean prevent us from visiting your studio and gardens and we do so fear getting our paws wet (your cats would understand this), however, a glimpse of your glorious wisteria is music for the eyes and something nice to savour here as we slide into winter. Best Wishes for your house sale. Happy Thoughts and dreams, P & L.

  2. I've said it before, you live in eaven don't you??? Except for the rattlesnake babies. I just love your cats, and my Emily and Spike send them hugs!

  3. Linda- sigh- you are only a plane ticket away-------- I would love to sit in your garden!
    I love your post- they are always the best and I look forward to them.

  4. What a wonderful post. I love the wisteria, your studio and - of course - the felines three. The photos almost make me feel as if I'm there...but the pictures you paint with words make me feel at home! Thank you!

  5. Hi Peter, the carpenter bees will only sting if provoked. I've never been stung and I get right up next to them. I notice when they are sipping nectar they're only interested in that, but sometimes they'll buzz in front of me if I get too close to them, warning me to stay away from their "food". If I take a step back they go right back to the flowers. You'll be seeing more of my garden as spring and summer unfold here and hopefully they'll give you pleasant dreams through your approaching winter.

    Hi Gary, yes this really is heaven and I'm sure when we move I will miss it terribly. I hope whomever moves here appreciates all my plants. Betty, Butter and Binky send their love to Spike and Emily. I called them all one day and couldn't believe they all hopped up on the bench at the same time so I could take their photo.

    Hi Meredith, you are only a plane ticked away too and you're welcome to come here to visit. When we sell we will be heading out over the road at a slower pace than flying and I hope to visit as many blogger potter friends as I can when that happens.

    Hi Becky, during the warmest part of the day when the wisteria is in bloom, I can sit on the patio and with all the bees humming above, it is like they are chanting in unison, kind of magical feeling and so relaxing.

  6. I can imagine spending hours on the wisteria patio, not to mention the studio. Thanks a bunch for this... it helps me to know more about your part of the world. peace~

  7. Hi Amy, if you came to visit, I'd make you some fresh lemonade or better yet I'd serve us both up a nice glass of wine and we could visit and get to know each other in person under the wisteria.

  8. hopefully someday, that would be fun. :)

  9. Ah, wisteria, I was admiring it in bloom all over town today while out walking the dog and then I came back and saw your gorgeous wisteria covered pergola. Cool progressive studio, too. I went back to July to see the view from the kiln room. So beautiful.

  10. Nice Linda - your studio is picture perfect! Like something out of a the wisteria - I don't think it grows here in CO, but there were some fabulous old growth wisteria vines in downtown Portland, Maine when I lived there.

    The kitties are adorable!

  11. Hi Amy, Some day that would be fun - for some reason I started humming 'Some Day Over the Rainbow, Way Up High...'

    Hi Barbara, thanks, we were just sitting on the screen porch yesterday and enjoying the views.

    Hi Cynthia, thanks, I'll bet Portland is beautiful in Spring, I remember you mentioned it before, I hope to visit there after we sell.

  12. love the carpenter bee shot... your garden is wonderful, beautiful.

  13. WOW, talk about nice place to live! And I love the flowers... very cool. No wonder you get inspired...just looking out a window should about do it!
    Thanks for sharing! Mary

  14. Hi Jim, the bees were a buzzing again today, thanks about the garden.

    Hi Mary, thanks, yes I am incredibly lucky to live in such a wonderful spot.


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