Well, the move out is history and Lowell Hill Pottery now sits in a storage unit in Ellsworth awaiting a new home. The old Rowantrees building at 86 Union Street now sits dormant with no electricity for the first time since it was built in the late 1930s. In due course, it will be torn down so that the property can be sold. The house will be spared the wrecking ball and I do hope it finds good owners who will appreciate its history.
In fact, I sincerely hope that the grounds around the house will return to the beautiful acreage that it used to be; full of trees and flowing bushes. Pictures that I have seen from the early years seem to indicate that it was a lovely place. May it return to that condition.
Those of us who were a part of the history of Rowantrees will always remember what took place on that land and how it changed the lives of so many people all over the world. It’s another reason that I feel honored to be carrying the tradition forward.
For myself, the challenge of building a new studio has begun in earnest. My building plans have again evolved into a simpler, less expensive concept mostly due to the move and a sincere desire to get a roof over my head and get back to work. I decided to adapt a two-car garage plan that measures 24′ by 36′. It still fits on the footprint originally set out for en even larger building. Size is a process, as it turns out, and it has been interesting to watch myself going from what I would love to have had to what I absolutely need. Fortunately, this design is quite adequate and can be expanded in the future if necessary.
As with all the other designs, this one has a gambrel roof, which will allow for a gallery and sales area upstairs. It had been my hope to have that on the street level, but a full foundation fell victim to the budget. Actually, I wasn’t all that fond of the idea of carrying a ton of clay down into the cellar space every year. Nor did the thought of carrying pottery up two flights of stairs ring my chimes. I’m 55 years old, after all, and although I’m in very good condition, that isn’t going to last forever. Might as well plan for that now.
I also dropped the plan for in-floor radiant heating. While it came highly recommended, it is also true that the floor in this place will have water, clay and other assorted stuff on it quite often. Those I know who have this sort of heating say that having anything on the floor will cause problems. It stands to reason. Gunk on a heated floor will turn into cement pretty quickly, and cement on a heated floor prevents the heat from getting where it should be. So, a different heat source will be needed. That will probably be a Monitor, a Renai of some other type of heater.
All of this will depend on finances. The Kickstarter campaign is now being re-tuned to match this far more modestly priced structure. I haven’t settled on the exact figure yet, but expect to do so early in 2015.
Then things will move along quickly. Stay tuned!