Sam Hitchman

It’s coming together…..somewhat…

So, as usual, its taken me a while to post any updates. This year especially has been filled with many more tasks due to the flood we incurred. Long story short, insurance companies are assholes, especially Ohio Mutual Insurance Group, who screwed me (and my) business out of a LOT of potential income. Apparently when you’re a self employed artist, and claim loss of income, due to a calamity caused by their insured, they feel that you arent valued for anything, and therefore arent worthy of dealing with.

However, bitching aside, Ive finally gotten my basement, which is also one of my two studios, whipped back into shape from the damage we incurred, and as I write this, am getting close (hours…) from making my first pot in nearly 6 months since the flood happened. I must say, going through the flood, all the hassle that comes with contractors, insurance companies….. will drive you absolutely mad, however, the basement now is a much nicer space to occupy. No longer I am standing on concrete floors, instead we have very beautiful and highly durable commercial grade LVT floors. The old wood burning fireplace which leaked TONS of cold air into the studio, has now been replaced with a super efficient and beautiful gas fireplace, surrounded by a stunning stacked stone wall. New sliding patio doors keep me warmer now that the chilly winter winds/temps cant get inside, new lights allow me to see much better, new cabinetry & counters brought us into the 21st century and makes me want to not be as messy! All in all, while the whole experience crippled my business, and drove me mad, I’ve now got a beautiful, warm, and comfortable space in which make pots for the mean time!

Which brings me to my next point; for years I have been steadily working towards having an all inclusive studio of my own. After nearly 20 years of making pots, 6 of them full time, my long time associate of nearly 10 years, Larry Kearns is officially retiring, selling his home/studio, and moving to NC!

Because of the flood, and the fact that one of my two studios will no longer be, I am taking the plunge into purchasing and building my own studio. Of all the years for this to occur during, this is probably the worst, as this year put a hurt on our finances, but we’re working towards making it happen. Ive zeroed in on a piece of property in Clermont County which has a tobacco barn from 1970 on it which we plan to convert into my studio. The creek alongside the property will be perfect for my water loving companion to frolic in daily, and the acres of woods and field will provide her plenty of space to lay in the sun, and chase critters. As long as we can get some good numbers from contractors, engineers, etc (did I mention how much this year has made me want to strangle contractors?!), and get everything to come together in the budget, it is possible, that by late winter, or early summer of next year, that I will officially be in my very own 3300 sq feet of new studio!

No more basements, no more toting pots 1 hr each way, no more forgetting “something” at home. This new studio will have approximately 1100 square feet of room for making, 700 for glazing, an ample kiln room, HUGE (dust free…hopefully) space to store finished work in, a dedicated space to pack and receive orders, a covered parking spot so I no longer have to load the van in the rain/snow/mud etc, a small kitchen, bathroom, and office. Im planning lots of windows for the wonderful natural light and beautiful scenery, loads of insulation because Im tired of unheated/cooled studios, much upgraded ventilation and air filtration to keep my lungs healthy, and loads of other exciting design features. Quite frankly, its gonna be so nice, I dont know that Ill stop drooling and be able to get to work!

Well, after nearly 6 months of not making any pots (practically the longest time in the last 20 years I havent had my hands in wet clay), its about time I get back at it. So, while this is a brief update, I hope to have many more in the near future, with exciting photos, and developments.