Have you ever seen an artist’s studio? They tend to look like works-in-progress themselves – messy, disorganized, and often (let’s be honest) kind of gross and dirty.
Now multiply that by several different artists working in the same communal space. And then acknowledge that this is a glassblowing studio, meaning the art being made here tends to be a bit messy and chaotic by nature of working with the glass medium.
That’s the situation that we’ve had brewing at Sweet Tooth Glassworks for… let’s just say “a while.” We’re not even quite sure when our glassblowing studio was last given a thorough cleaning.
But what could we do about it?
The Birth of Cleaning Day
We knew that making any kind of real dent in the maelstrom of mess that we called a glassblowing studio was going to require a lot of work. A lot of man (and woman) power.
Which is how the idea of Cleaning Day was born. We picked a day. We planned out the logistics of what would give the space a real, deep cleaning. And then we reached out to the artists who use the studio and asked for their help.
We weren’t sure how willing they would be. After all, Cleaning Day was going to be a voluntary event. We were asking them to give up hours of their free time to come in to the studio and do something most people find deeply unfun: hardcore cleaning.
Did it work?
Of Course It Worked… Because Our Artists are Awesome!
In the end, the turnout and the willingness to really go for the sparkly clean exceeded our wildest expectations. Almost everyone showed up, and they not only worked to tidy up their own stations – they also shaped up the overall space.
It was a real testament to the community we have here at Sweet Tooth Glassworks and the quality of people who have chosen to work with us. Also… it was a lot of fun! Yes, it was hard work, but getting to hang out with this group of people and see how much they cared about the welfare of our studio was incredible.
Here’s what our fearless leader Kathie had to say:
“That was my very first shop ‘event.’ I am absolutely excited to do more now, but also want to respect that these guys work for themselves & can’t always afford down time. I was so extremely pleased when nearly everyone showed up & not only cleaned their own stations, but also helped immensely in overall cleaning. Everyone pulled together & I am so proud of them & proud of myself for going through with it! I have a hard time putting my foot down, so to speak. Of the good cop/bad cop partnership with me & Chris, I was always the good cop. I hope to have more of these type events that help us as a team as well as doing something desperately needed for the studio.”
It went so well, in fact, that Kathie is planning another “cleaning event” – this one shorter, at four hours! – in October.
And all of that cleaning was totally worth it. Not only was it great for, well, cleaning, but also community building and as a starting point for some fantastic new upgrades coming to the shop. Just some of the things we’re now working on:
- Storage pods for the liquid oxygen tanks to free up space
- Having the propane piped in directly for the middle set of original benches
- Improvements to the exhaust system
In other words, thanks for making Cleaning Day work like a charm, Sweet Tooth family! You were the magic.