Recently I saw an old rotary pencil sharpener and memories of the old models mounted on the cabinets in elementary school blossomed in my mind. Backed by volumes of SRA binders and later the portable unit window with birds flying around in the the trees as we did social studies. Getting up from the desk, walking over to the sturdy USA made machine, hand-cranking and hearing the grinding pencil, then returning with a perfectly sharpened writing instrument was a very satisfying break 🙂
My little boy JC just started pre-school this Fall and one of my favorite musicians to work to, Tycho, creates music that also brings me back to the days of gazing to the sky & clouds in wonder (one track is actually entitled ‘PBS’). I walk JC to school and pick him up every day – and looking out the window right now I can see the old school building and portable units.
I started out with an attractive Boston unit, then realized the ribbed container Berol units actually reminded me of what we used in the classroom. This was the incarnation of the ASPCO (American Pencil Sharpener Company) I was familiar with. I began looking at the older units and acquired some from the early 1900s.
So, here is my collection – looking forward to some neat fine art pieces and at least a cool coaster set! 😉
Ok, It’s Cyber Monday, so why is this ex-‘techie’ working on his ‘Brick & Morter’ storefront in Midtown Austin?
Well if you’d ever been to my 800 sf residence/studio prior to September, you might have a clue. After years of banging larger canvases into walls, planning a soft landing when (not if) you trip during the day, and having people step over the laundry basket or doing the side shuffle when coming to see my work, I decided ‘it is time!’
The main purpose of my new space is ‘production work’ plain & simple. Room to create the larger pieces and house the equipment to do specialty items like the ceramic tile coasters. The production side includes my private office where I can shut the door (although it hasn’t been shut since I’ve moved in ;), storage closet, production area & restroom. I have two large-format Epson 9900 printers, one 4800 printer converted to sublimation inks, heat press, large work tables and other office equipment, wireless Internet etc. I have hired a production assistant, Dan Reid and Marcela comes in to work from time to time 🙂 The production studio has been up since September and we’ve even have had other artist come in to use the equipment recently.
The other side is my new ‘gallery area’. It is a place where clients can come in an view my work, relax on the sofa (coming soon), chat and have a drink. The small ‘kitchen area’ is kinda hidden behind a rolling wall. We snagged 2 of them from Spruce across the street – wish we had photos of Marcella and I rolling/dragging them across Lamar! They needed ‘fixing up’ anyway 😉
Since last week we have been installing the track hanging system – fairly smooth except for the concrete walls I ran into today, luckily I had my hammer drill, concrete drill bits and mortar patch handy – yes, not your typical photographer with a BS in Computer Science I know..
I’ve decided to keep the name ‘Art of Texas’ from the days when it was a group of us showing together locally. The long name is ‘Jamie Rood’s Art of Texas Studio & Gallery’.
So while you get emails from other artists today that are discount-laden or full of new images, I’m just giving you a little glimpse into the raw physical work that is going on here 😉 But I am working on a new online shop that will allow you to better navigate and include all my work. I’ll hit you up to buy in December, then post some more ‘refined’ & ‘finished’ studio & gallery shots in January. But I’m here if you need to order something you remember at a show, but don’t see online 😉
It’s a big step and I appreciate you all being with me on this journey…
‘Take a deep breath, relax – and have a great day!’ 😀
Studio flooded and maintenance guys wet vacuuming when I came in around 9:45am. Landlord stopped by to check in – 🙂
Just some uncut mat boards and other supplies damaged, Artwork all fine.
Racks on wheels – way to go! 😉
We needed the rain and guess it poured last night..