The contract is signed. The commission is a reality. Now I have to sculpt the 7ft 5in sculpture of Sir Nigel Gresley in clay. Gulp.
My permanent studio is far too small and is on the first floor. The ceiling needs to be high. There needs to be sufficient space so I can stand back and view the sculpture properly. It needs decent light. It has to be secure with 24-hour access. It can’t get too hot, or the clay will dry. It needs to be within a 45 minute drive from home. And of course, not too expensive. I don’t want much!
My intensive searching reveals little that meets my criteria. But I am convinced I will find something. And I was right. It takes 5 weeks but I find the perfect temporary studio, thanks to a tip-off from a sculptor colleague.
Initially I need to use my imagination – it is dark, cold, crowded with another sculptor’s carvings and equipment. But it comes with a gorgeous view. Over the next few weeks it is transformed into the studio of my dreams.
It is cleared of all movables, just leaving the old piano, the pinball machine, and a rather large compressor. The floor is made of bricks and is very uneven. So family and friends come on my birthday to help build a sturdy raised wooden platform. What a birthday present!
The next step is to install new daylight strip lights and additional electrical sockets. And for finishing touches? Flowers. No studio is complete without them. Just saying.