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  • Behind the Scenes

    Behind the Scenes

    To say this is my happy place, is a total understatement. Imagine a lush birch forest with a little wetland bog, deer happily frolicking everywhere, raccoons, wild turkeys and sometimes pesky mosquitoes. Just steps away from home, my studio is literally 2 doors down from my house.

    Inside it's quiet and super cozy, with a little pot belly stove burning in the corner for warmth. It’s practically a cliche, except it’s very real, and exactly what you’d expect for a little rural Montana art studio. 

    There is no need for a shop front, with only occasional visits from a customer here and there, who comes in to pick something up.

    I share the space with Tammy, a friend and fellow maker, and also Les, my step dad, who is a retired goldsmith. Often, you’ll find him inside, forging beautiful little copper vessels, but usually when Tammy and I aren’t working, because he makes a ton of noise. 

    The coffee is hot, strong and plentiful. The snacks are naughty and decadent, but necessary. Most days you’ll find music, or a juicy audio book playing in the background. It’s comfy, and it feels like home, but without distraction. So much creativity bubbles out of this space, too big to be fully contained.

    Some days I go there, by myself, to sit and just be. Quietly replenishing my mind, my body and my creative flow.

    On any given day, you’ll find Tammy, Les and me, gathered around a bench, solving huge design challenges together. Pencils, sketchbooks and stones strewn everywhere, as we work through a design hurdle for one of us. An outsider might see chaos, but this is our happy place.

    Sometimes I'm in there using loud equipment with my headphones on, listening to an epic fantasy fiction novel, like the Queen of the Tearling trilogy. Time flies in my happy place. At times, you’ll find me sprawled on the floor, doing the stretches prescribed by my physical therapist, to keep me safe and comfortable during my long hours at the bench. This work takes a toll on my body.

    My studio. My happy place. But it’s so much more than that. I never know what will consume me there each day. Some days I have a clear plan, and I carry it out seamlessly. Other days the plan unfolds before me, sprinkling in a few surprises and challenges here and there. More than just a happy place, my studio is a place of peace, healing, creativity, excitement, problem solving and, of course, endless snacking.