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Lauren HB Studio
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How space changes us

How space changes us

It's quite amazing how space affects us. I remember my undergrad professor John Balistreri at Bowling Green talking about the importance of how we use our space. He always said we would only make work that could fit in the space, so make sure to put everything on wheels. That’s an easy way to make space. He makes 10’ sculptures out of clay. He knows how to fill space.

Now, 20+ years later, ‘put it on wheels’ is one of our mantras. But it’s true. While in Maine over the summer, I had a small table to make work. I made small things. Which was fine by me. I had to get it across town to a kiln, then back to Ohio. Now I find myself in the biggest space I’ve ever had a chance to work in. And I find myself dreaming of all the things to make.

But wow, does this space feel different than our previous 1200 sq ft studio! One of the biggest differences is how sound echoes through it. The ceilings are much taller and the six of us can’t hear each other as well. As a result, we often wear headphones. We’ve had to move around the speaker so it’s not blaring in one person’s ear. And while headphone wearing is a fairly modern convention, when we were in our smaller space, we almost never wore headphones. We were slightly on top of each other, and could hear each other easily, so conversation/music/cult podcasts were much easier to hear.

It’s odd for me to walk around in headphones all day. I’m way too social of a creature. I find myself shouting to have conversations and we’ve had a lot of funny moments of mishearing one another. But in order to get work done and not be in total silence, we are a headphone crew a lot now.

The other big change about the space is that I have two dedicated spaces all to myself. One is an office (!!!!!!!!!!!) and the other is a sculpture studio. I never thought I’d have an office. I’m a clay girl after all. But when the opportunity arose to have a temperature controlled (!!!!!!) office space, I jumped at it. I now jokingly call it my ADHD room-I have a huge calendar of events for the next six months with a bunch of post-its. A brain explosion, all visualized. Perfect for my ADHD brain! We added wallpaper and some artwork, and it has become a lovely place to conduct this kind of business. I spend a lot of time getting organized, musing, editing photos, writing proposals.

My sculpture studio is equipped with an entire wall of shelving, three work tables, and a slab roller. I can work on multiple projects at once and not have to clean up to switch tasks. This is such a game changer for my productivity. The space even has a wall of windows, just like my old space. The view is different, but the breeze (and temperature) is good.

So, change is change. It’s hard and good. And though we have comical misunderstandings from not hearing one another, a bit of space to breathe and dedicate to specific tasks is a game changer.

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