Goodbye Home

Without even so much as a chance to unload my car after my October shows, I was back at home packing up my house and studio. We had spent the last month living among towers of boxes but I had ten days to fully pack up and move out. Then the day arrived when Pickfords turned up with a huge pantechnicon lorry, ready to take all the boxes away. Rarely do I consider new orders coming in to the Glass Studio as an unwelcome irritation, but unfortunately the post show orders were flowing in by telephone and email while I was trying to pack up the studio. I had the extraordinary situation of printing out my last batch of dispatch labels for the courier and turning my back for a moment only to discover that my printer, my computer and the desk that they had been standing on had been spirited away by the removal men!

The final thing into the lorry was the heaviest and the most difficult to transport – my large kiln – which was forced grudgingly up the ramp with the last of the muscle power. After two days of high pressure, and a scramble of Pickfords men scurrying up and down the stairs, I found myself in an empty house. Nothing was left and the home in which I’ve spent the last decade felt strangely smaller. Before dropping the keys off with my estate agent at midday, I had twenty minutes of solitude, walking from room to room, and allowing ten years of memories to come flooding back.

A forgotten memory returned of the first time I came into the house in 2005. I had been looking for a house on the market with a space that could be used as a studio as I was just on the verge of graduating from college and starting full time as a glass artist, but none quite fitted the bill. However as I walked in through the front door of of 47 Pymers Mead – literally as I crossed the threshold into the garage space which was to become the studio – my mobile phone rang, and it was a call from the Worshipful Company of Glaziers telling me I had won the Stevens Competition. Knowing that the prize money would allow me to buy enough equipment to set up a studio, I took this as a sign that this was the house for me.

Walking around the empty space I reflected on how much this house has been about work. My work has been woven in and out of my family life until it is impossible to separate the two. And strangest was seeing the studio walls, which were formerly groaning under the weight of shelves covering every spare inch of space. The industry of this studio had literally imprinted itself on the bare walls in the grubby silhouettes of shelves, folders, jars and tools, like the dusty ghosts of a decade of toil.

2 thoughts on “Goodbye Home

  1. I am 80 plus, and was a teacher of Ceramics for 35 yrs, gave up after 2 new hips and a metal knee.
    By nature I have to be busy and creative… and when my son died in 2014 I decided to start fusing glass in his memory. The best thing I have done for years. I love it, and although no pension am just able to remain solvent enough to make commissions for small items, I am self taught and watch every tutorial I can, I am starving for ideas and love your glass pieces, you are brilliant. Bit too old for College, so I feed off beautiful websites, such as yours. Congratulations. You are so very talented VR x

    • Alex R says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment. It’s taken me a while to reply as you left your message just as I was in the run up to having a baby, but it is heartwarming to hear that my website inspires you in your work. I’m so sorry that your lost your son, but I can understand how you find solace in making fused glass in his memory – for those of us that have that creative impulse, the act of making can become a crucible for all sorts of emotions. It is wonderful that you are still making in your ninth decade and long may your creativity continue!

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