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Portland Open Studios Time!

Portland Open Studios! It’s almost here! Every year that I participate it eats up my Oct. I always miss the apple tasting at the Portland Nursery (both weekends, even!) , I scramble to figure out how my kid is going to be entertained for a whole weekend while I am working, and I always replenish my chalk collection.

Did you wonder about that? Chalk collection? What does that have to do with Portland Open Studios?  I’ll tell you at the end of the post. 😉

Because before I can get to the chalk, there’s so much more to do to be ready for PDXOS.

See that? You can even get your map for the show on mobile devices! =)

The big one is cleaning the glass studio. It needs to be safe for people to wander in, no sharp bits anywhere, floor swept and as clean as possible, work bench cleared and filled with finished jewelry and glass for sale. It takes a bit of work to make this mostly no-frills glass shop comfortable.

It’s a long, narrow room, with my back facing the door so that cross breezes don’t make my torch flame waver. Which makes it fairly unfriendly, relatively, to someone walking in. I put a monitor up with a camera shooting my workstation from the side, feeding to the monitor, which is sitting on my Big Mama kiln, which allows people to see what I am doing without craning over my shoulder.

Every year my son gets older, he’s ten now. He could amuse himself all weekend, I think, but I would rather he have something fun to do than be home in the house by himself. So I am working on playdates and whatnot.

And of course, the work to sell. Since what I demonstrate during PDXOS is glasswork, even though I am starting to work in metals as well, the focus of the show for me is glass, so I have spent a lot of time in the glass studio these past weeks making pendants and other glass components for the jewelry. The weather has been lovely this week, which makes time out there so much nicer. I hope it holds for the show, because people really slow down on traveling from studio to studio when it rains. Who wants to get in and out of a car over and over getting it progressively wetter inside each time?

Snacks! Gotta get snacks for hungry art lovers! Again, no rain helps with this, my studio is so small, that a sunny day means I can put a table outside with water and cookies. And I will need to set up a pandora system for music within the little room so it’s not just the sound of the ventilation and oxygen concentrator.

So,  yeah, all these things. Plus putting the signs out both Fridays nearby for people to find me, and taking them back down both Sundays.

And the chalk? It’s how I involve my kiddo. Since my studio is around the corner of my house down in the backyard,  folks need to know to walk around the house past the garage into the back garden. Nothing does it better than  fun chalk directions on the path and driveway and side of the house… unless it RAINS. Which makes only stuff on the garage door stay. But my son loves helping out with this every year, and it takes a lot of chalk, so that’s why it is the annual replenishing of the chalk time come October!