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Jamie.Clark

Throwing Studio on 2nd Floor house?

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Does anyone have their Studio on the 2nd floor of their house? I have the bonus room above the garage that I made into the kids playroom but for some reason they just don't use it, so I'm thinking about making it into my throwing studio.  I live in the Memphis area so my garage  can get super cold in the winter and I was thinking having an active Kiln in the garage can limit when I can throw and how wares dry. As you can see in the pic I'm using interlocking foam floor squares in the bonus room. Any advice would be most appreciated.

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You don't indicate anything about the entrance/exit options here. If you have a pull down ladder to enter. . . I would nix it. If it is a narrow stair with a turn, I would nix it. However if your stairs are of at least a normal width or wider I would say you should be good to go. I would consider ware boards to carry pots down to the next level, probably best when leather hard.

I would consider a skylight for lighting during the day, and several LED  hanging panels to keep from having a lot of shadows. Looks like you have enough sockets,

You may want to build yourself a throwing area with some way to catch the trimmings etc and keep from having clay tracked everywhere.

How about water? Roof top reservoir may work well, with a spigot and bucket with an outside drain to the garden. I would also consider a ware rack somewhere.

As far as the kiln firing downstairs make certain it is well vented either with a hood or power downdraft set up. Finally you come to some sort of tool rack/storage area for your bats, tools and other items you may need for throwing along with an hangers for aprons and towels.

 

These are things I would be thinking about if redoing my area with two levels, and should help you out some.

 

best,

Pres

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The entrance is off the  upstairs hallway so access is no problem, and behind the pop-n-shoot basketball there is a window, plus I have led tape rope along the edge of the ceiling, and two ceiling fan lighting fixtures. I'm wondering if I need to do anything different with the flooring? Throwing wet clay is one thing but I think I'm more pondering the dust from dried wares and how I might fight that battle. 

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That is why I would build a "sand box" to throw in. It would help control the trimmings and splashings. You could even add some partial wall areas if you want more control, or put it in a corner diagonally facing outward or inward. Myself I would prefer outward as you could see what is going on. Carrying pottery will be a pain if you have to go through the house.

 

best,

Pres

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I'ld take that foam flooring out all together and put down some sheet flooring that you can wet mop. Have a pair of shoes that stay in your workroom so you don't track dust through the house. Also, if you can use that ceiling fan somewhere else in your house I'ld take it out since you're not going to want to have it blowing dust around. 

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If the room has HVAC return you need to consider that in the equation. If I was doing something like this. I would wipe down the surfaces and floor after every single session to avoid clay dust circulating through my entire house. I don't know how good of a filter your HVAC system has, but most people use pretty crappy filters and have dated HVAC systems, so if you're in this category consider maybe closing the return if your HVAC system will be okay with that. Some can handle closing off returns and others screw with the system. 

I don't know what type of garage you have, but it might be easier to insulate your garage then make all the changes for this room. Hauling pots up and down stairs is going to be a challenge, even bone dry pots can get heavy carrying full ware boards downstairs. I agree with Min that you need some type of flooring that you can mop. It doesn't matter how clean you try to be, clay is just naturally messy. I throw pretty dry and trim slowly, and I still make a darn mess.

I had a  room on the same floor as my garage that wasn't being used and I decided it would be easier to just insulate my garage door and work in the 40-degree temps in the winter. I don't know how cold your garage gets, but you could get wall panel heaters and put them on timers to start an hour or two before you go in there so it is nice and toasty. 

This isn't to dampen your dreams. You could easily make that room work, we are just telling you the downsides and the things you need to consider. It is up to you to decide how clean of a person you are going to be with the dust. I have seen studios that are horrendous and some that are sparkling clean.

Good luck and let us know what you end up doing and show us pics of the final room!

Edited by Joseph F

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i know a potter in leesburg, va who uses this kind of space.  he is looking for a new house because he is tired of the hassle of the stairs and the limited space because of the sloped ceilings.  maybe you can trade rooms with someone on the first floor, a kid, maybe?  yeah, like that is going to happen.:rolleyes:

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The upstairs is going to be a killer over time as Joseph mentioned. I'm not a fan of clay in the house for the dust issues brought up.Stairs will get old fast.

Mea works in the basement which is better than the upstairs by a long shot. 

The garage is about 1000% better solution -You just need to figure the heat issue out.You can move all your garage items into the bonus room then your garage is a clay studio.

The floor is wrong the ventilation is wrong the dust issue is wrong. In the garage all this is almost non issue. Just change your shoes and do not wear them into house.

My 2 cents .

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Have you considered a throwing shed in back yard? They are pretty cheap and if you insulate it an electric heater will probably be fine. Maybe compare the price of getting garage where you want it to adding a shed.

Edited by Stephen

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I'd put in a  type of pulley system or winch to kick the clay upstairs. Carrying it will take out your knees eventually. I agee with Mark. Take the garage.

I put mine in a large garage. Kilns are in an unheated shed.

Marcia

 

 

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