Saturday, March 31, 2012

Today one of my dearest friends stopped by, and when I asked him in for lunch a neighbor joined us.  While we were sitting in the kitchen, I asked if, before they left, they could help me move some furniture. After both men eagerly volunteered, then came the question, "what furniture? where?"

Well, I had to explain to them that I needed our display furniture moved from the 16' enclosed trailer in the driveway to "somewhere" in my house, so that we could move several large railings into the trailer to make more room in our studio/shop, because we had to make three more railing sections and the shop was already full.


My neighbor said, "At some time, I remember Matt telling me 'We're outgrowing our shop!' and I thought to myself , that's a weird statement. I mean, it's a great shop. I could do a lot in that shop. But then I stopped in and saw it yesterday. You guys ARE outgrowing your shop!"

1/3 of the work space in the shop,
usually  this "open floor space" is for temporary projects, finishing
 or shipping is now my work space for the week.
And while we are really getting better over the years at organization and time management, our work on artistic railings & hand crafted furniture can often take a lot of time and go through several stages to complete. It is not uncommon that one railing, from start to finish, can take eight to twelve weeks. Often one railing has several sections, and curving ones take up more space. It is also not uncommon, that we work on more than one railing commission at the same time, and they are all in different stages of completion. It becomes kind of choreographed dance, keeping hammering going on in a corner, layout and welding on work tables and other stages happening in other areas of the shop. When we are done, the commissions leave finished and ready for installation out a side door we created specifically to move large projects out. 

"Maynard Studios" main shop, formerly "Fox Creek Grocery".
The small shop we work in, was once the "Fox Creek Grocery Store". Our house is listed in Deed Book #2 of Anderson County, Kentucky as built in 1896. Upon reinforcing our stone foundation, we did find an earlier foundation from who knows when! I'm not sure if anything stood on the spot of the store any earlier, but we guess the store was built as early as the 1930's (we at least know the original rectangular store had been 'added on to' at least three times) and Earl and Pearl Rogers ran their small business/ grocery store there for many years (Many times, we have been told, that they served the best sandwiches in town). The storefront has pull-up parking, a main work area, a large back storage room and an office. It even has a two-stall, divided,  "his & hers" outhouse around back. I wish we knew more history on the store, but as late as the mid 1990's it had had become a thrift store. In 1999 Matthew moved in and through the early years of 2000 we tore out  the wood floors and poured in cement, patched the chipped sidewalk, built interior & exterior cranes, etc and continued suiting it up to accommodate our growing needs.

Last month, we appeared before the Anderson County Zoning Board for a public hearing and received a "Conditional Use Permit", allowing us to expand our business on our property. Although this is only step one... I'm anxiously looking forward to what's to come!

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