week 1 - the ice breaks & a studio is born

As saguaros hold their heavy bouquets at the ends of their arms & the deliciously sweet scent of honey mesquites spices the air, construction has started on my new studio space.

The ice on the Santa Cruz river also broke this week as temps hit 100.... Of course, there is no ice in the desert at this time of year & the Santa Cruz river is now a dry river that only flows during heavy monsoon rains, but "ice break" is a quirky Old Pueblo annual event when we all try to predict the first day the thermometer will hit 100 degrees.

After a week of being invaded by sweating, swearing men, this is what has been accomplished so far.........

The 9" concrete apron slab was jackhammered into rubble.

Colored concrete poured & smoothed for the new floor.

The old garage door opening framed & awaiting the new window. The original plan was to have a sliding glass door & 2 windows, but after the concrete was poured, it turned out that the height of the opening was too short for a door. Instead, it will now be 1 large window, 12' x 5', divided into 3 sections. The two 4' wide end sections will be solid glass & the middle 4' section will open with casement windows.

A new garage to replace the old one is being constructed simultaneously, & its footers & forms have been prepared for the concrete pour.

As I kept appearing to check on progress during the first couple of days, the workers were trying to bite their tongues & stem the flow of foul language. I finally let them off the hook by saying, "Look, I have 3 brothers, I worked as a bartender in a redneck bar for 3 years, and I worked as a labor & delivery nurse for 6 years. I've probably heard any horrible thing you could possibly say, in two languages. You're not going to offend me!" After that, followed by plying them with coffee, lemonade, & a radio cranking rock music at high decibels, I was just one of the guys. If good construction work & swearing profusely go hand in hand, swear away!!!!


April said...

I always find it interesting to see construction methods in warmer climates. Your studio is being built similar to the construction i've watched in the Bahamas. I keep thinking .... where's the insulation???? Then I have to remember that I'm in Canada.

I spent my youth living in a town north of International Falls, Minnesota. They have festivals for the cold weather and they used to have a giant thermometer: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/MNINTsmokey.html

Your studio is going to be fabulous! I'm so happy for you...(and I have to admit, I'm also insanely jealous!)

tapestry13 said...

Hey Lyn,

Good for you that you put the workers at ease by saying you wouldn't be offended--and then, also by offering drinks and music. My father was a blue collar worker (very sweat stained blue collar, in fact, since he drove bulldozers) and he taught me, as a child, that one should speak the "language" of whoever one was conversing with--not in a condesending way but as a matter of courtesy. I took that to heart and have always had great interactions with most all the folks with whom I've been involved over the years.