For the past year, I've rented space in a cooperative studio in Salt Lake. It's a socially complicated (and sometimes comic) mix of students, renters and owners. I took two cycles of classes before I became a renter, which afforded me a large shelf and a key to the building.
Being new to Salt Lake and to making pots, I've found the support and friendship of other potters a godsend. However, working alongside others is contrary to my nature as an only child and aging gay man. I've always had my own work space apart from the large studio I shared with five painters many years ago. To preserve my sanity, I retreated to the basement in the building and a work table sandwiched between the studio microwave and refrigerator. It was less than ideal but a lifesaver given my need to be away from the traffic and chatter of the upstairs space.
About a month ago, one of the two 5 by 8 feet studios in the building became available, and I jumped at the chance to have a more functional work space. Neglected and dirty, I cleaned the space, painted everything white and washed the floor. Originally well-designed though not well-used, the small alcove has built-in shelves, a large worktable as well as room for free-standing shelves and cabinets. I use every inch of storage and wall space, and red dogwood and black, tan and green bamboo canes are suspended from the ceiling.