Saturday, September 15, 2012

Settling in at WCC

I moved into my new studio at The Worcester Center for Crafts last week.  I have yet to start a new piece because my days have been filled with orientation meetings, studio tech hours and setting up my space to my liking.  The head of the Ceramics Studio and AiR program, Tom, helped me put up a divider for more privacy in my space this week.  He also helped me cut down my worktable legs, since a short girl needs a short table!

My new space!
And view of my table and new wall divider.

I also have a paying job at the center now! Granted it’s only 8 hours a week, but it’s better than nothing at all.  I’m the Building Monitor on Saturdays from 9:30am- 5:30pm. Early morning is not fun but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.  Basically, I answer questions and make sure no one does things they shouldn’t be doing.  I’ll have administrative tasks at some point too.  Eventually they want to train me to be the Metals Studio monitor as well.  This would be great because I’d get to refamiliarize myself with that studio and hopefully start making and incorporating some metal into my work. But for now I get to be based out of my studio and work on my own stuff and essentially just be present.

And now for a story:

On Monday I did start working on reassembling my mamma sheep in the studio.  I made the huge mistake of using a Bondo-like repair patch, which smelled absolutely awful! I wouldn’t be surprised if the sore throat I had afterwards was a result of breathing in the chemical fumes.  I only patched the interior cracks and stopped there because the smell was so bad.  I wrapped up the bowl and putty knife I was using and took them out to the dumpster in a futile attempt to keep the fumes down. I then went down to the restroom and on the way back noticed that I could smell the fumes in the hallway!  It wasn’t too bad in the open workroom in ceramics but it must have wafted through to the other side of my space, which has a false wall, and into the WSU (Worcester State University) sculpture studio then into the hall.  Of course I panicked! First week there and I make the studio impossible to work in!
Now I had NO IDEA that the smell would carry like that. I also had forgotten that the ventilation system at WCC was not nearly as good as the one that I was used to at the Star Store, UMass Dartmouth Studios in New Bedford.  I wasn’t aware that there were even vents I could turn on to air out the space either. At any rate, I sent out emails, apologizing to Tom and my two studio mates, Dan and Lauren.  I had a panic attack that night and felt terrible for disturbing other people. I was not raked over the coals or threatened with expulsion as I had anticipated though.  I was simply told to not use Bondo inside again (not a problem!) and shown where the vent switches are located. I was also informed of a bonding agent I haven’t tried yet, PC-11, that isn’t as toxic. So, I ordered some from the hardware store and will test it out.
Live and learn, right?!

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