At the studios where I now am working at Western Ave in Lowell, Mass!! Lots and lots of artists!
Nearly two years after I started this web site, I am finally able to find time to write a new post! House renovations, moving from Connecticut to Massachusetts, selling our old house and literally putting the finishing touches on our new house after three months of work...it's been a busy time!
In addition, after searching the Boston area for a shop location (since our current house has no space useable as a shop) I found the Western Ave Studios in Lowell, Mass., an artist community with 250-300 artists at any given time.
Shop studio before move in.
Most likely the biggest in the country, it is two buildings and five floors of hundreds of stories of people who are making their living, finding their way or trying to, as artists. I've rented two spaces, one for the main building shop and a second, smaller space for finishing the assembly, storing wood, and offering guitar kit building classes!
So many people would love to have the experience of building something out of wood, that is useable and lasting, but they don't have the space, tools or knowledge to do it alone.
Shop after bench building and move in. Almost complete!
I will be guiding the students through building kits available from luthier suppliers in the most common body types and woods. I'm thinking (to be confirmed) of offering a twice weekly class at night for locals, and an "in residence" class for out-of-towners that would take about a week and necessitate staying at a nearby hotel.
With 8 hours in the shop each day for the resident class, nights are free for dining at the local breweries and restaurants, attending concerts
or sporting events from Lowell River Hawks hockey to Spinners baseball (seasonal,) viewing plays at the Merrimack Repertory Theater and concerts at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium; there is a lot to choose from! Additionally, the history of the town as the center of the industrial revolution, includes the nations first urban national park downtown (walking distance), with guided tours of mills, boarding houses and canals and locks. Lowell is a fascinating location!
Randy Newman before a sell out crowd at
Boardinghouse Park in downtown Lowell.
Playing local open mics and just sitting around together sharing music is also a possibility as I hope to make the process educational, relaxed and collegial. Pictured is the Hearing Room, a listening space and art gallery just around the corner from the studios. Other arrangements may be possible on a case by case basis. Please contact me if you have a special request!
I will continue to update the blog on a regular basis now that all my moving is complete. The second studio is in the process of being setup before I can begin teaching, but hope to have it together before Thanksgiving. Classes would make a great Christmas gift for the guitar nut who has everything!