Thursday, August 27, 2020

all about change

This year is all about change, and adapting to the new. Even though the past six months have been incredibly challenging, I am, what feels like, on the other side. 

The Covid pandemic has forced me to close my brick and mortar shop, my wholesale business plummeted, but I have seen customers shop online in greater numbers, and with kind words of support and encouragement. 

I am in a new studio space, in a building populated by artists and entrepreneurs. For the first time since grad school, I feel part of an artist community where the building’s owner is invested in my success.  

It has taken me two months to set up the new space, moving studio is much more work than moving my house. The kilns are finally working properly just last week, and I am back to making. It has taken me some time to establish a routine. 

Here are some views of my new space, which I hope will be gleena’s home for a very long time. This is my seventh (lucky!) studio:

I have a nice showroom, where visitors are welcome, please make an appointment for a visit by emailing, or calling 216-310-5718.

The making studio is naturally separated from the showroom by the layout of the space. It feels quite different from one side to the other. I like this very clear separateness. 

The kiln goddess presides over all the firings, I created her in grad school almost 20 years ago. 

My two kilns, Big and Thor, which I have had for about ten years. They are a pain to move, mostly because they are so very fragile. Luckily, over the years, I have learned to fix any electrical issues that might arise. 

I was finally able to unpack my “remnant” series, an installation started in grad school, which I hope to continue exploring. Being in this space is urging me to create more sculpture.

The beginning of a sculpture, though the holiday season, which is a robber of free time, is right around the corner. I am hoping to have at least two pieces made by the end of the year.

I even have a small office, where I can catch up on computer work without getting clay all over the keyboard.

Friday, April 10, 2020

working while isolating

I am fortunate to be able to continue to work while many cannot due to the current Covid crisis. Studio life is generally an isolated life, and with the shop being closed since March 12th, it is just me in the space. The freedom from the regular hours of the shop allows me to run errand for my parents who live nearby and have been staying in. It is an odd, surreal experience to be driving on nearly empty streets every day. All days feel like Sunday morning due to no traffic. I am grateful for my work, the kilns which beg to be filled, to retain a bit of normalcy.

My focus has been on, filling the website with all the items from the physical store. It is a time-consuming endeavor, photographing and color-correcting images, measuring, uploading and describing product. I am offering free shipping for now.

The weather has been odd, in one day we had a thunderstorm, snow, sun, hail, high winds, temperatures from 60’s dropping to 30’s. As if nature is also confused as to what day or season it is.

A heartfelt thank you to customers, shops and galleries, to friends, neighbors, and family, who have reached out with words of support, love, encouragement and understanding. Thank you to my sweet customers who purchase online. I am grateful for all the kindness. With long daily walks I turn to nature for peace and inspiration. Spring is pushing forward regardless, with many flowers popping up despite weather’s mixed signals. Be well, everyone.

Friday, January 3, 2020

a very happy new year

Happy New Year! 2019 was a full and colorful year. The year was most notable for raising my very high-energy enthusiastic super friendly and funny pup named Bernie. He was able to come to the shop with me, until he grew too big and hairy.

Also new for 2019: the shop hosted many workshops, and a few open studio work sessions. During the summer months, when filling wholesale orders slowed down a bit, I had space to invite students who had taken my workshops to make any project they choose. It's been inspiring seeing student creativity and enthusiasm.

I feel that 2020 is a year of big change for me. I am looking forward to it. I hope it is a good year for you, too.