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Justseeds Studio Visits (Pete & Thea)

October 16, 2013

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Here’s another new series which I’m going to do for the blog, in which I ask members of Justseeds to take pictures of where they make their work, ask them to describe it, and ask what would be an ideal workspace.
Up for the first edition are visits with Pete (in Milwaukee) and Thea (in rural Oregon)….

Pete Railand

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1. Describe your workspace to us.
I share an amazing studio with some of my favorite artists: Colin Matthes, and Nicolas Lampert from Justseeds, and Paul Kjelland- the force behind many cooperative efforts in Milwaukee. Our space is on the 7th floor of a giant, and mostly empty, warehouse near the Port of Milwaukee. The view from my window overlooks Lake Michigan and some abandoned fields where a pack of urban coyotes live. We have 15 foot ceilings, 30 foot long walls, a huge freight elevator and a ton of space. We technically share 2 large studios that are connected by a hole in the wall. Each person get a fair share of wall space and we all share the middle sections of large tables that we built for the Justseeds show “Uprisings, Images of Labor” at the University of WI Milwaukee in spring of 2013. In my small area of the studio I have a large homemade wooden flat file which is the remnant of a huge 10 drawer flat file I built for when the Justseeds store resided in my basement in Portland OR. I also have a 5 foot by 3 foot work table I built, which we used as a model for the community tables in the center space. I use the walls for drawing on the lino and do most of my carving on the large tables in the middle. For screen printing we screw clamps onto the table tops and print away. We have wires strung in one studio to hand prints to dry.
2- What would an ideal studio look like for you?
I currently don’t get to spend a ton of time in my studio, if I am lucky I will get there once a week and that is almost never before 10pm, so unfortunately I don’t cross paths with my studio mates too often. However, for me one of the best parts of this space is that it is shared with these fellas. I love to see the work in progress of others, to see the madness spread throughout the space as a frantic push for an upcoming event comes closer, to see how different people approach making work and organizing or disorganizing space, plus there is almost always an extra beer in the fridge. As projects ebb and flow, one person will take over the space while others won’t be at the studio too often, so the give and take generally works out pretty well. I wouldn’t say this is an “ideal” studio, but it may be the closest I will come realistically. It’s about a 3 minute bike ride from my house, is located in what I consider to be one of the most scenic places in town, (down some back roads, next to old shipping canals and rusty towers),is super affordable, open 24 hours, and managed by an super nice painter. What would make it truly “ideal” for me would be to have a real set up for screen printing in place, for now we burn screens elsewhere and print here, washing out screens in a shower, with no power washer available here. Also I would love to have a large etching press so I can actually get around to printing all my linoleum blocks again. Finally, ideally I would prefer a more organized space, I like things to have their place and be out of the way so there is a large clear area to work, but it is seldom like that here. You can’t have it all, but it’s pretty darn good here in Milwaukee. Just don’t tell anyone else or it might end up like that place I used to live. Remember it snows here people, lots and lots.
Thea Gahr
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1. Describe your workspace to us.
The space where I’m working is this many purposed space set up for block printing, drawing, painting, sewing, dancing, thinking,being, reading and letter-writing.
[Editor’s note: I would add that it’s on the second floor of her family’s old farmhouse in the Willamette Valley, nestled between hills, fields, & trees and is in a truly beautiful setting!]
2- What would an ideal studio look like for you?
My ideal studio would have other printers and people creating in it and an etching press that would give me the opportunity to experiment more.

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