The birth of Tanglewood Studio
We had just hosted our first art show. With the kind help and hospitality of a friend, we gathered a bunch of neighbors and other friends to view and discuss Harry's photos, to drink some wine, and try to figure out what direction to take with marketing. We were hoping that an event like this would give us clear input.
It started a discussion that dominated an entire day and long into the night. What direction were we heading? Did we have an interest in selling prints? Should we have open hours at our home? Sell exclusively online? Offer prints through a local gallery? Continue to casually sell by chance?
...And we live in a Tiny Home. Already, our photography and screencasting efforts dominated a solid half of the square feet in our home. Creating a relaxed space to interact with customers in our living space would present challenges, and simply finding wall space to hang prints was limiting.
It was two days before Thanksgiving, and we were contemplating the week ahead. We had a Weekly Edit episode to publish at noon, a lineup of family commitments, a bunch of food to prepare, and the long-range forecast was for impossibly wet weather to start in less than a week. Pressure was mounting
It seemed like time to make photography a priority in our space. We decided to re-make our greenhouse, splitting it roughly in half to create a studio.
Long weeks later…
Our greenhouse not only is the source of most of our vegetables, it is our tool storage space, dry area for construction projects, and general storage area for all kinds of odds and ends. Tearing it down and re-building it was a major disruption of our lives. We dove into it with determination and fervor, spurred on by imminent rains, and were able to get the roof on our new construction just before the rains began. Success!
On the first night of our 3-week-long rains, we got 10 inches of rainfall. Not a problem: we expected it. Working around torrential downpours, we continued. As the space took shape, however, we began to notice a real problem looming on the horizon. Our large-format printer, so confidently ordered at the beginning of the project, had not shipped yet. It had been weeks already, and there was no tracking information for this important piece of equipment.
We have been in Hawaii for a while now, and are familiar with the difficulties in shopping here. Shipping is expensive at best and impossible at worst. This started as one and turned into the other.
Yikes! What to do?
We called all over the Mainland. Calling a place in New York City gave us a laugh. Predictably, they answered the phone immediately. No extra pleasantries wasted: of course they could ship that printer to us! It would double the price of the printer to get it here, but it could be on its way the next day. We expected nothing less from that town 🙂
Amusement aside, that was expensive, but we were out of options.
As a last effort, though, we took a peek at Craigslist. What are the chances of a large-format printer being sold on our island at the moment we need one? There are less than 180,000 people on the Big Island.
We got lucky! There was a listing for a 60-inch wide format printer within 100 miles of us right then.
A photography enthusiast had moved to Hawaii years ago with a shipping container of all his treasured belongings. This printer was one of them. Then, when he moved away, he had no space to spare for the printer. It had to go.
Flash Flood Warning in Effect
"This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense message for Thursday, December 1. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for the Big Island of Hawaii... Heavy rain is falling across the districts of North and South Hilo, Puna and Ka’u. ...Hawaii Police Department reports multiple landslides and intermittent lane closures along the Hamakua coast.
We’re brave, and U-Haul was willing…
Now or never! The rain was only forecast to get worse, and pretty soon the roads would all be closed. We couldn't let somebody else get our printer, now that we had found it.
We got soaked just running from the rental agency to the truck: fully, water-hose-in-the-face soaked.
The rain was torrential, about an inch an hour when we set out.
Flooded roads in Hilo didn't deter us. Driving through running water on the highway, spray splashing in wings high over our cab made Mouse wince. But we didn't stop.
We passed roadcuts turned to waterfalls. We dodged large rocks in the road and avoided flood debris. We skirted rivers running amok down the pavement.
...and we arrived at our printer's resting spot
Crazy things we do for Art
That is one very large printer. We knew that, and we got a big truck to carry it home in, but: WOW! Top-heavy, awkward, expensive, and delicate: a moving challenge. Luckily, the rain slowed to a gentle shower as we winched our new printer up the ramp and tied it down in the U-Haul.
Even luckier, the weather blessed our drive home. Gentle showers bathed our journey back, and all the roads were open.
And luckiest of all, our big strong neighbor just happened to arrive as we were unloading! It was definitely a three-person job to guide our new treasure down the ramp, across the rocks, and into the freshly-roofed studio.