The Studio is Closed….

It has been so hard and I have been in total denial that this was ever going to happen. Especially when you consider that we have been “going to move” since June and things just kept changing and getting pushed back. But Saturday my friend Valerie came over and we started packing.

The very first thing we packed was my Guillotine Sheer. That sucker is HEAVY. I am not looking forward to packing and moving the rolling mill. haha Slowly but surely the studio is being emptied of its contents. Although, we are taking things out of their places and putting them on the top surface of the tables, so it hardly looks like we are making progress.

It really has been hard to pack everything up though. It is the closing of a chapter that I opened here in Ohio. I have done so much with jewelry here in Ohio. When we moved here my baby was only 10 weeks old. I didn’t know a soul in Ohio. I had only just started making jewelry and didn’t really have a clue as to what I was doing. I just knew that somehow I had found a hidden talent that I didn’t ever think was possible for me to have.

I remember looking for classes around in the area and all I could find were simple stringing and beginning jewelry classes. But I already knew those things. I actually drove back to the DC area so I could take a bezel setting class. Six months later I began teaching classes here in Ohio. Once again, I took my skills as far as I could on my own. I enrolled in a couple of metalsmithing classes at the University of Akron. That was SOOOO much fun. I met some of the most amazing artists. I also saw a lot of crap passed off as “art.” But it was a really good experience for me all the same.

In teaching my classes and talking with the students at the university I found a need for a group that could pull artists together with people that support the artists. 3 years ago right now, I sat here at my computer with a friend and decided to take the plunge and start a guild for the Jewelry and Metal Artists here in Ohio. This February they will have their 3rd Anniversary. We have had some bumps in the road, but it is growing and its membership includes some of the most amazing, caring and giving artists I know. I have also made some of the very best friends I have ever had.

We currently live in the nicest home we have ever had. I have great neighbors. My girls have friends right next door…. and I have the MOST AMAZING studio. or, I HAD the most amazing studio.

My time here in Ohio has also seen some amazing accomplishments for me. I have written a couple of magazine articles (I know, I need to write more.) I have been in several books. I have been introduced to some wonderful artists and techniques and created wonderful friendships in the art world. I never would have dreamed I belonged in the art world. How does a computer programmer/trainer go from hacking and teaching code, jump into the world of art jewelry and succeed?

I have not done many shows. I don’t sell a lot of my jewelry. But that has been a decision based on the fact that my family is still so young. Not only that, but my real desire is to continue doing what I do best, teaching. I am an okay jewelry designer. It is not something that comes easy to me. But teaching? Oh, I CAN TEACH! Just ask any of my students. I was just biding my time and waiting for Kate to enter Kindergarten and then I was going to take the world by storm. I was going to teach at all the shows and really get things going doing what I do best. Then we had a surprise setback. So I Will bide my time once again and wait for Kiari to get into kindergarten. Then I will take the jewelry world by storm. LOL.

We are going into a rental home in the Vancouver area (that is over 1,000 sq ft LESS than what I currently have – My current studio space is about 1,200 sq ft). I haven’t seen the house that we will are renting. I have no idea how much room I am going to have for my equipment or if I will have room for classes. So for now, the plan is for me to work on my craft. I want to get back into learning new techniques and making my jewelry better. I am working with really cool tools. I am in the process of writing a book. I haven’t decided if I will self publish it or see about working with a publisher. But my goal is to have it out by the end of the year. I would like to teach some classes in Tuscon next year, as well as other places.

This March, it looks like I will actually be teaching in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I am so excited about that. I will keep you all posted on how things progress with that.

I am excited and nervous and apprehensive all at the same time about this upcoming move. I am going back out West. I didn’t really ever want to do that. I have simply LOVED living out in the East. I LOVED LOVED, LOVED the DC area. I would have loved to go back there…. if only they didn’t have such yucky traffic. I adored the lush terrain of Virginia and Ohio. I am so glad that of all places in the West we are going, is to Washington where it is not only LUSH but BEAUTIFUL. I am nervous about starting all over again. Starting over with friends, my business, a new unfamiliar area, everything.

The one thing I have to say about that though, is that I have already had people in the area contact me to ask if I will be teaching classes, or if they could come over and be friends. I have “Friends” that I have known since just after my daughter passed away 7 years ago. I have known them for years, but I have only met two of them. And even then, I have only met each of them once before.

I know this is getting rambly, but it has been good for me to get this all out there.

So here are a few pictures of the studio packing progress.

This one took place over several hours, but it is so sad. My wall of hammers, full and happy. Then, it started to get thinned out a little.

And now, it is empty.   My wall of hammers is very sad.

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This is 7 lbs of stainless steel shot being dried out and prepared for storage. Sigh.

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This is where I I do a lot of my clean up. The sink is there on the left. In this first picture I had already packed away my ultrasonic and started to pull chemicals out from the cabinet. But you can still see my tumblers and other tools.

Then in the next picture, everything is packed away. The chemicals are all packed away, things are cleaned off and it is now ready to be moved out.

So much to see in this first picture. My polishing bench has a TON of tools. I keep all my mandrels, calipers, stencils, bezel setting tools, etc. The little table just next to that is where I do all my drilling with my drill press and flexshaft, etc. Watch as it all gets cleared away…..

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Tools are disappearing from the polishing bench and shelf above the drilling station.

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Oh, how sad. All the tools are gone. Just the polisher and flexshaft need to be packed. I am waiting to pack the flexshaft because I have one more video to film before packing it away.

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If you look closely in the back there, you can see my soldering station. All the torches are still lined up ready to do their work.

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Now things are packed away. No more soldering surfaces or tools. The torches are still there since I need to take them outside to release all the gas in them.

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This black peg board is where I keep all my tools that are for sale. They are all now packed away and a bunch will hopefully be sold on Tuesday when I teach my final class in Ohio. I will be teaching at a local bead shop.

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This thing is just a mess. I keep so much on here. But hey, I know where it all is. LOL.

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It is even more bare now since taking this photo. The top shelves have nothing bust dust on them.

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What a process. But wait till you see the final photos. Hopefully I will have it all done by the end of this week.

15 thoughts on “The Studio is Closed….

  1. Jennifer

    Hi Melissa,
    Wonderful, melancholy post. I too am facing big changes in my life, and I will give you the pep talk my sister gave me. Change can be good. Change helps us grow. We can never know what awaits us in the future. I believe many good things will come for you out of this move! Washington is a wonderful place, full of many creative opportunities. Plus, you’re closer to me! I’m in California. All the best to you in your new home!

    Reply
  2. Swati

    Oh Melissa…I remember how excited you were to create this studio. Your dad helped you build it, didn’t he? I can’t imagine how you must feel leaving this and going. I know I’d be weeping buckets! 🙁 But I am hoping you will soon get a house where you can build the same studio or even better all over again. ((((hugs)))

    Reply
  3. Pat

    Hi Melissa,
    I am certainly going to miss you and your classes. I wish I could attend your last class at the store but I am out of the state. Good luck with your move. You will be a hit no matter where you go or what you do…that’s just you!!!!!!

    Reply
  4. Joy Kruse

    My heart goes out to you. I am so attached to my own studio…but you will do it and you will love it and you will be wonderful the minute you get unpacked. The feeling of your studio will all come back in your new home and in a new place with a new studio to make new things! And Yes, when your littlest one goes to Kindergarten you will take the world by storm!

    Reply
  5. Linda

    It is so sad. I will miss all the fun times we have had in your studio. I can’t imagine moving; 35 years worth of household accumulation would do me in, and besides that my studio isn’t as big as yours. My best wishes to you and your family in your journey.

    Reply
  6. Dawn

    You have(had) such a beautiful shop. It must be difficult having everything obscured in cardboard. But, when you start putting together the new shop, it will be even more amazing. This gives you time to refuel creatively, and plan the next level of greatness. I am happy for you, because I know there are hidden wonders to come.
    Cheers, Dawn

    Reply
  7. Melissa Muir

    Thanks Jennifer,

    You would think I would be used to moving by now. We have moved every 6 months to 4 years since we have been married. This is the longest we have lived in any one place though. And I have really enjoyed my home and studio. I am excited for the next chapter. I am really looking forward to getting to know new people and artists. I am looking forward to being closer to family as well. Change is almost always good. I know we will do just fine, because that is how we roll with things. It is just sad to close the chapter and move onto the next, know what I mean?

    Thank you so much for the encouragement. I do hope that we are able to meet up. I mean, I will at least be on the same side of the country after all. LOL.

    Melissa

    Reply
  8. Melissa Muir

    Swati,

    It was my Father-in-law that helped to build the studio. It seems like so long ago since our moves, yet at the same time it seems like yesterday that we moved in and finished the construction. Hey, we will finally be in the same time zone again. I think we need to start chatting again. LOL. I have missed you.

    Melissa

    Reply
  9. Melissa Muir

    Pat,
    So sorry that you won’t be able to come. I am glad that I got to meet you and have you in the classes that you were in. Certainly keep in touch.  Thank you for the encouragement. Travel safely when you come home.

    Melissa

    Reply
  10. Melissa Muir

    Joy,

    Your studio would be almost every bit as difficult to pack up as mine. LOL. I am excited to get things set up and going again…. already, and it hasn’t even all been packed up yet. HA!

    Thanks for your support! I appreciate it!

    ~Melissa~

    Reply
  11. Melissa Muir

    I am going to miss you too Linda. We really have had a lot of good times in the studio. You have been with me since the very beginning and I am so grateful to you for it. Oh, I found some stuff of yours when I was packing. Your tools are on their way and should be here no later than next week. *Giddy excitement*

    ~Melissa~

    Reply
  12. Melissa Muir

    I am going to miss you too Linda. We really have had a lot of good times in the studio. You have been with me since the very beginning and I am so grateful to you for it. Oh, I found some stuff of yours when I was packing. Your tools are on their way and should be here no later than next week. *Giddy excitement*

    ~Melissa~

    Reply
  13. Melissa Muir

    Thanks Dawn,

    I know this is going to be good for us. Each move has been a good one and we have always been placed where we needed to be when we needed to be. I have been totally spoiled and I just need to remember how good I have it, even when everything is obscured by cardboard.

    ~Melissa~

    Reply
  14. Sandy Yavorcik

    After looking at your packing process, I now feel I have moved twice this year. I also had about 1200 sq.ft of combined studio space, now confined to laundry room, and garage area. What a shock! can I please have my basement back, that was my mole hole. Very hard to adapt to small spaces, just not in my vocabulary. wishing you lots of new experience’s and great times, Sandy

    Reply
  15. Melissa Muir

    Sandy, isn’t it awful? UGH! I am fortunate though, I don’t have to go to the laundry room. I will be taking over the living/dining room. So hopefully I will still have some good space. I spoke with the landlord today and asked if he would mind if I hung my peg boards. He is great. He told me that as long as I patched and painted when I was done, he was good with it. WOOHOO!

    ~Melissa~

    Reply

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