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Kristina Vatne

New studio design/ build: advice, please!

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My husband and I are planning to build a small studio next to our house this summer. We've identified our location and space,  and we have ideas about where we'll put things, but there are a few key building decisions that we're still unsure of:

* Are there prefab studio/shed kits that work well for this kind of thing, or would we be better off designing/ building from scratch?  We live about 10 miles from the Oregon Coast, so our studio will need to be able to handle A LOT of rain, and our building season is limited to about June-August, so we'll need to be able to put it together quickly. 

* What kind of flooring works best in a  pottery studio?  If my Skutt 818 kilns are in the studio, is marmoleum/ vinyl flooring an option, or would that be hazardous?

* What kind of wall & ceiling material works best for a studio? 

Thank you in advance for any wisdom/ insights y'all can share.

-Kristina Vatne

 

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Hi Kristina, 

Welcome to the forums, we hope you can find information here to help you along your ceramic journeys. Just recently we had a strand that had a new studio/workshop, with some responses from other members. You will find it here:

Another tip for you when searching for information on the forum. Do it from the home screen with the search (magnifying glass icon) at the top right of the screen. As often things are posted to so many different places within the overall forum.

 

best of luck with your new studio, 

best,

Pres

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@Pres Thank you for the suggestion! It looks like I omitted an important detail from my post, though: the footprint for our studio will be in the neighborhood of 12ft x 16ft.  And, at least at first, it'll be strictly a one-amateur-potter,  wheel-focused studio. The posts in the thread you pointed out appear to be focused on much larger, more-professional environment. 

I'll search some more for other threads, and thanks again for the advice. I'm looking forward to learning from this online community!

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My studio is in a 10 x 12 room in my house (other than the kiln, which is on the back porch--set on Hardiebacker for safety (wonderful stuff-good for a work surface/wedging too).

It's very functional-pics are in the Gallery.  If I had the money and the land, I'd do a decent pre-fab shed for simplicity. My tips include lots of natural light &  bright lighting, easy-to-mop flooring, everything on wheels that can be put on wheels (I get inexpensive plant caddies for my clay buckets), lots of shelving , a Gleco trap for the sink,   & be sure to have proper wiring. I made a diagram and used cut paper forms for the key elements (i.e. proper size ratio for wheel, table, shelving units, bucket space etc.) and moved it all around until I settled on the best layout. Never had to change anything major because I measured everything first. 

 

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Floor: Kiln should sit on concrete, cinderblock or hardeebacker. Otherwise, vinyl or linoleum or any washable surface for your flooring. If you're moving lots of heavy things around, I've discovered vinyl plank flooring. It's waterproof (interlocking planks laid over a waterproof membrane) and really really amazingly impervious to whatever gnarly stuff I drag across it or spill on it. I have it in my hard-used craft room and dream of re-discovering my concrete studio floor someday soon and installing vinyl plank. Wonder if I can install a heating grid beneath it  - that would be heaven!

Walls + ceiling + hardware: All surfaces should be washable, non-warping, rust-proofed, as much as possible. 

Fenestration: give yourself as much natural light as possible.

Keep us posted on your progress...

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Without knowing your budget, and needs for the space, its hard to say what would be best for you. I.e. if your going to be a production potter, and use/buy tons of clay, then you're gonna need a floor which can handle the weight....i.e. reinforced concrete (get the idea?!). If you're making 100 pots a year, then a small storage shed or two from home depot or so might work for you. Items of importance, in order of priority for me; safety (air flow, cleanbility, etc), ease of working (flow, etc), lighting, storage. Make sure you have enough power for all your needs, and add a spare 50-80% of what you're going to need now(my new studio is going to need 300-400 amps of service). You'll likely use it in the future. Consider zoning issue too; setbacks from property lines, if this is a business, how much space can be dedicated to business in residential zone, etc. How are you getting materials to and from studio? Driveway? Walkway? Muddy yard? How are you going to heat and cool the space? If it rains a ton, are you going to need to run dehumidifiers to dry the studio out?

Building a studio is like building a home, with just about as many specific choices that need to be made, and in some circumstances can be more demanding. Read up wherever you can, visit many a studios and ask potters what they'd do different.

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I went through this recently (I'm oregon coast too, hiyas) and used my metal laundry shed. The floor is metal but had a basically not-removable thin layer of plywood covering it. I put down 2 sheets of cement board over this. Works fine. In regards to rain the shed roof was fine, however I went through a can of expandable spray-type insulation to fill many cracks. The result isn't pretty but quite functional. The shed faces my home so the door is under an overhang, -no rain blowing in and I don't have to get wet to access the shed. I finally noticed a little humidity after I ran my washer a few times, I dried it out in about an hour with a small space heater w/ built in fan, it wasn't a big deal but I intend to keep an eye on the moisture level this winter, I will probably have to run it at least once a week to keep things nice and dry in there. . The dryer is well vented to the outside. So, if you need to go small, it can be done with some determination and thought.

My biggest challenge, and it did take a lot of aggravation and cost as much as the kiln itself, was getting the damn plug installed. In the end I got a great technician (Thank you Denette) who worked all day and got it done. I also have a Skutt 818. If you want to hear a lot of worried bitching and complaining mostly about buying the kiln and installing the plug, here's the fairly recent epic thread: 

http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/17076-shopping-for-my-first-kiln/

Good luck! 

Edited by yappystudent

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kristina, you might look at my gallery.  click on my avatar and go to the profile page and look for gallery.  

the shed i have is 10x16 so your plan for a 12x16 might be just perfect.

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