Over the past few weeks, my workspace has undergone a slow but steady metamorphosis. Even its namesake has changed.

For the past quarter century, it was “the shop”, or, to differentiate it from the shop I supervised at the Colorado College for the past ten years, “my home shop”. For many of those years, the building was primarily relegated to a ramshackle storage unit, and what little floor area hadn’t been filled prior was haphazardly overstuffed, in the days leading up to my recent resignation, with personal effects I’d kept at the school: art supplies, a couple of large painting panels, wood planks, books, and unfinished sculpture, etc. The space was filled to bursting, the door closed and locked, and I promptly headed to Italy for a month.

Therefore, when I first dared to crack open the door to the dusty and dishearteningly disorganized space upon my return, that was about all I could do; the door barely opened wide enough for my body to slip in, it was so jam-packed.

Since then, I’ve made steady if incremental progress in transforming utter chaos into relative order.

Things are looking brighter, quite literally: one upgrade was replacing the workspace’s 25-year old fluorescent fixtures with LED’s, increasing the light output yet reducing the wattage, eye strain, and the troubling tendency for the lights to dim when a machine is turned on.  

Among that and other purchases, the table saw and jointer received new mobile bases. The ability to roll machines around is an absolute must when one has such limited square footage. 

Primarily, though, the past few weeks have been an extended exercise in “knolling” – transforming a mountain of what initially seemed utter detritus into groups, and from there to stacking bins, which were then moved to a separate storage unit (itself needing considerable organizing at the outset of the process) or into tool drawers and cubbies.

Helping to create some breathing room was moving some completed artwork out and into storage elsewhere – some large scale paneled drawings and paintings, and, with the assistance of Drew, Peter, Hank, Beckley, and Erik the other day, an unwieldy sculpture.

A pickup truck bed full of trash went to the dump. The vacuum was emptied, refilled, and emptied again, but I’m hoping for a warm and windy day for my favorite way to remove the finest dust from all the hard-to-reach surfaces: opening the garage doors on one side, the casement windows and personnel door on the other, and using the air compressor and a blower attachment to lift the dust into the breeze flowing through the space. Barring that, phase one is complete.

Phase two will take considerably longer. There are plenty of additional upgrades to be made, inside and out, but they’ll need to take a back seat to the primary activity with which I’ll be occupying my time.

It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for. I’m on the doorstep. 

Not just on the doorstep, but, at last, able to fully open the door and enter in.

Going forward, however, the workspace will be be known by its new name, the studio. My studio.