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Qotw: Do you close down for Winter, or how do you heat your studio

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Brrrrrr! After spending two weeks in Hawaii, I have returned to the east coast. I missed the big snow storm that dumped 12" around here, but still have the leftovers hanging on! It is cold here, and the shop has ice in places. . . not fun. Today I have a new shop heater coming, and will be installing it on the 240 line for that purpose. I am not happy that it uses a blower, but have to do it. I have looked at radiant panels, but find that I have so little wall space that they are not going to be a solution. I may get a few for some areas, like around the wedging table and a back wall that has enough space for a small one. I had looked at lots of solutions:, pellet stoves, wood stoves,  propane stoves and others, but in the long run came back to an electric with temp control. 

So all of this has me wondering . . . Do you close down for Winter, or how do you heat your studio?

 

best,

Pres

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Since my shed is so small, I have a space heater to keep things from freezing, the thermostat set to 40.  For when I'm actually out there and working I have a propane tank top heater.  The propane heater really kicks the heat out so I only run it for a few minutes at a time.

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Yep--and for short stints, if you have electric,  a small table top ceramic heater or oil-filled radiator are good. Thin thermal gloves help, ear muffs, and really warm socks--makes a big difference. My studio is indoors, but my kiln room and more working space is outside, on a screen porch. It is 12 x 12 and houses my L&L 23s kiln, a 5' work table, spillover studio storage, and all kiln supplies, plus a tiny corner seating area.  I close the porch up in the winter with panels of restaurant patio vinyl rated for 40 below. My wonderul landlord had them built and installed.  The stuff is clear as glass (see the pic!), durable, and can be cleaned. They only make about a 20 degree difference from the outside temp but with the heater(s) I can actually work out there in the NH winter. 

 

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I did spend a number of years working in unheated garages, during which time I either moved into the laundry room for the winter, or just didn't make for half the year because it was too cold. We lived in rentals at that point, so I couldn't really make any modifications. 

When we finally purchased our home, Wayne, my husband stripped all the carpet out of one of the basement bedrooms and scraped the floor down so that I could have an indoor studio for my birthday. (True love!)

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 I stop studio work on Christmas and take a 4-6 week mandatory break-work in office on tax prep.

My studio has a natural gas heater and can start up any time its needed.It does not freeze much around here only now and then.

I do not close for winter and usually do get back to work in Feb. depending on winter vacation trips.

Things slow down in winter except my grocery store sales keep on trucking so goods for them need to keep being produced . I often back stock most of that stuff so I always stay ahead of demand.

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lee, what is the brand name of the clear panels you use as windows?   my tiny trailer in florida has a wonderful porch but its "windows" are a little thicker than saran wrap.  would love to keep the heat, (there is none out there) inside the porch.   last year the temps hovered in the low 60s for months and i was sort of stuck inside.   

the studio heater is ok but the space is not insulated well and the door has huge gaps all the way around it.   a thick, folded bath towel keeps the  wind under some control at the bottom of the  big doorway  but it still gets in at the edges.

the wv house is heated well by radiators, a separate zone for the studio.  the boiler, though, runs on  oil which is too expensive to make it all comfortable for the whole winter.  so i go away.  sitting here in the house with the thermostat set at 70, i am freezing and my nose is running.   you see why i leave?

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My shop is attached to my house so I get some heat from the house furnace it is just enough to keep it from freezing.  I have been using a oil fill radiator for years.   I turn it on early in the morning and it is usually warm enough to work in by the time a get out there.    Denice

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Wow, I struggle to keep my "studio" in the 50s even with a propane heater!  

One thing I have found very helpful is I picked up a little 2 quart crock pot for 7.99 at Target and I turn it on when I get home from work and it's darn near boiling by the time I get my kids in bed and am able to get out there.  I just top it off with some cold water and it's just about right.  I turn it off when I start throwing and it stays nice and warm for a few hours.

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My studio has insulated walls and ceiling-the throwing room is also insulated in floor as well as double glass windows in throwing room added in the early 2000's.That throwing room is 8x12-the other room is 11x22 with an open walkway between.

As a business I need it to work well-heat is part of working well.I turn on heater to dry pots as well as I did today-I'm off of clay on Thanksgiving but heater is drying out pots from earlier in week today.

It has a sink and cold water (warm water is made on a pan on heater when needed) wired for outlets and has lots of LED 4 foot lights and has a vacuum sateen to control dust as well as a air filtration system for airborne dust when making glaze.The study is 80% old barn garage 20% new throwing room.

The floor is wood.Being cold is not part of any creative endeavor or at least for me.

 

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My studio is in a basement, so it is mostly underground and very well insulated. The pipes that feed the hot water radiators in the rest of the house run across the ceiling of the basement, which provide a decent amount of heat. Also, when the kilns are firing, the room is toasty warm. At worst, the temp in the basement might go down to the low 60s. I can put on some extra layers and a hat and still work. Or I might plug in an electric radiator and sit right next to it. I struggle with the very low humidity in winter, trying hard to keep the pots from drying too fast. But temperature is not really a problem. I can’t really take a break for winter. Once the holidays are over, I need to start making pots for the big ACC show in February. 

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I throw in the house, in a small room, where all I need is a small radiant heater for a short time.  My kiln and glazes are in the unheated shop.  But it is very well insulated, and I can close off my side of the shop with doors and again, a small heater takes care of the comfort level.  The first winter I had the shop I was constantly running out there to check the temp.  Even with 30 below or more, it never freezes in there.  So I don't run a heater unless I am out there.  The rest of the time, the kiln keeps things warm.  I feel very fortunate!

 

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I once had a very small studio (120 square feet) in the back of my garage. I insulated it fairly well, and could get it up to 80 degrees with a little ceramic space heater. I loved that little studio. My current studio has a hanging shop heater, and it's pretty loud when it runs. It's nice to stand in the blast zone, though! The studio is really pretty chilly, though, because it has an overhead door that is drafty. I have to keep the thermostat at about 67 degrees or the heater runs a lot, which gets expensive. My students have learned to dress warmly for pottery class.

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10 hours ago, liambesaw said:

I might have to insulate my shed this summer, that's a lot of work though... Tearing down all my ware shelves and moving everything out... But 80 degrees sounds pretty dang spiffy.

What part of the country do you call home, Liam?

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Added a split A/C heat pump over the summer and it is perfect. Cost about 3 grand when all said and done. Got the DIY model (more expensive) and paid a relative a few hundred to help me and had to pay an electrician a few hundred to hook up but is just like central and works great in hot or cold.

In Texas the cold part is most important. I just say that its going to be 77 tomorrow and 79 on Friday  and high was 40 a week ago for several days so the weather can be all over the place around here this time of year.

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Them lil' split units are what the mute cat lost - 'cept where it's so cold that there's not much heat to pump in, and where it's soo hot it's hard to pump it out!

Our son has'm in his block house, very nice! ...not sure what the upper and lower outside temp thresholds are - there are occasional frosts where he is, and although heat does get to 110s (F), the outside units are onna shade side.

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ya know I was worried because 1 1/2 walls are not insulated, they are sheet-rocked (I know hard to believe a builder went to the trouble of sheet rocking and not insulating)  and the room is 600' with 12' ceilings but man it worked like a champ in July/Aug/Sep when the heat topped 105 almost daily. I did get a 24k BTU and the AC bill was about $80 a month during those hot months. I was trying to use a couple of standalone 10K BTU and that was costing more and virtually doing nothing so the studio was virtually unusable in May/Jun and most of July, even at night.

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Our main studio where the restoration work is done is where I keep my slab roller and do that part of my clay work there.  This building has its own heat and air...kinda like the ones hotels use.  It keeps the studio comfortable.  The kiln and glazing part is in the basement...which can be a little cold in the winter, but not unbearable.  So no downtime.  Though we do close for occasional snow days here in NC just because the rest of the town closes.

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48 minutes ago, lgusten said:

  Though we do close for occasional snow days here in NC just because the rest of the town closes.

Yeah, I can remember going to Randolph Conference a few years back and had to deal with 1" of ice in March. Not fun driving.

 

best,

Pres

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