Monday, January 8, 2007

Open Studio, Open Creativity

As indie entrepreneurs involved in creative pursuits, we are always looking for new ways to improve or expand our craft. I am always looking to learn a new skill or knowledge, and if you’re like me, you’ve discovered how expensive the pursuit of knowledge could be! Half-open supplies and barely used tools have taken over my hobby room, hoping to be used in my next project.

That’s why places like Craft Gym and the soon-to-be-opened Ekcetera studio are the perfect practice boards and playgrounds for the creative types. With prices ranging between $10-20 for daily use or $50-60 for a monthly membership, you can (inexpensively) play at you’re heart’s delight, with jewelry tools, photography equipment, ceramic kilns, and other goodies ready for your disposal. Many of them also offer workshops and classes. These places allow you to try a new project or create product prototypes without the initial investment of new tools and equipment.

If your community does not have these craft-type places mentioned above, you can also check out art studios at local colleges. While these studios are usually reserved for their students, some of them may allow non-students use of their studios and equipment for a minimal fee. Certain cities also have recreation centers with open studios for both residents and non-residents.

Here are some to get you started:

Irvine Fine Arts Center: has a ceramics studio equipped with wheels, kilns, slab roller, wet storage and a complete glaze room.; a photography darkroom; and a jewelry open studio. Located in Irvine, CA.

Lakeside Pottery: a pottery school, gallery, and open studio. Located in Stamford, CT.

The Workspace: an open studio through the Iowa State University offering jewelry, screenprinting, photography, woodshop, printmaking, and glass making. Located in Ames, Iowa.

Atlanta Art Worx: jewelry and metal arts open studio. Located in Marietta, GA.

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