Spring, when a man’s heart turns to his shop…


It’s warming up outside and I’ve ventured into my studio for a couple times recently. This weekend I may even turn the water back on. I doubt it will freeze hard enough to have to worry about the pipes. At least not enough to worry hard. I’ve had ideas festering all winter long about what I need to do. I’ve been cursing myself since I ‘moved in’ that I didn’t epoxy the floor before I got started. I think I can move everything out of the back third and at least do the floor on the ceramics end before production starts this spring. That’s the goal at least. But there’s other things, too. My sink is too big and wastes a lot of space. I’m going to sell it on KSL and downgrade to something more reasonable. I’m probably going to get rid of the table my drill press is on and put three or four tools in that place that mostly live on shelves. There’s too many ideas.

Part of the excessive ideas problem is I’ve been spending a lot of time binge watching Adam Savage videos on YouTube. This particular one was motivating/damaging me towards a bigger restructuring of the studio space.

I like the idea of not sorting through drawers for tools, and building something like this would probably let me get rid of a couple of tool boxes, including a big standing one so there would be a net gain in space. Except, maybe, for the fact that it would inspire me to collect more tools to fill it up.

I’m also downgrading my sink from the huge stainless monstrosity that seems to have the primary function of collecting dead wasps and spiders to a ringer washer that came with the house. I admit that part of the force behind the change is to see if I can make the ringer work.

The real crux of this movement came when I realized I probably had one work table too many. I have the big welded steel wedging table I made with a top of 300 pounds of canvas covered plaster that would probably do me as a main table, but that leaves me with the task of getting rid of the lighter work table. And that work table was given to me by one of my mentors, John Shaw. And so I’m emotionally attached to the table. I know I’m attached. I know he was throwing it out when he gave it to me as a struggling student living in a crappy little apartment. I know I had to cut down two of the legs an inch to get it into the room in my apartment, and that it still sits on the cut off stumps to keep it nearly level. It was hard enough to get rid of the old, tattered canvas that used to top it. The one where John wrote, “Erik owns me now” in black sharpie marker and told me to take it home.

I’m really not very sentimental, so I don’t know why I’m that attached. Maybe it’s because our old studio in Bountiful is months away from getting torn down. Maybe it’s because I know that I’m not very good at keeping up relationships and without the studio as an excuse I might very well be able to count the times I see John again on my fingers. That really bothers me, and so far I really don’t have any answers.