Something good happened to me the other day that will no doubt change my life forever.
A charter tour bus company called me and wanted to know if I was capable of being a regular stop for some of their tours. My first reaction was 'yes!' but once we got to talking it was obvious that my place was not equipped to handle 35-40 people (some senior citizens) coming to visit on a huge charter bus. We ended the converstation with me saying 'don't forget about me, I'll call you when I'm ready'.
Wow! This is better than the vision I've had in my head for so long. Since the day I moved into this house I have wanted to make it into a Bed & Breakfast for Route 66 travelers and fellow potters. I wanted a full studio built off to the side of the property and a sidewalk leading from my house to the studio. The studio would have its own separate drive and parking area. My dream also included my daughter serving fancy coffee and pastries to my visitors.
I immediately went and told my husband about the phone call I received and at first it was 'that's a shame we can't accomodate them. oh well.' Not satisfied that he saw the potential of tour busses coming to my studio, I called my son Nick, who I knew would be as jazzed as I was. Sure enough he was and he told me not to give up on this. An hour later my husband comes into my office with this brillant idea on how we could make this a reality. Yeah! It's a great plan too!
We will basically create my vision without building the studio right away. We will create a separate drive and parking area that will accomodate large busses. Then we will move my studio into the garage and create an area in the courtyard by the garage that will accomodate lots of people touring the studio and/or sitting and watching demonstrations. Off of the courtyard is our formal dining room which will be turned into a snack area/gift shop. The only thing that will require much money is the parking area. It will probably require approval from the city as well.
This is the courtyard off of the dining room and next to the garage.
This is the area that we were thinking of putting the parking and eventually a studio.
I am getting lots of good advice from the potterybasics yahoo group which is wonderful. For those of you who don't know, this is a great egroup for beginning to advanced potters. Ask any question and you'll get answers. They are helping me think this thing through.
The first thing I need to do is draw up a quick plan and approach the city. See what, if any, permits I need or zoning issues I will need to address. I happen to be remodeling my dining room at the moment so I'll just finish it according to our new plans. Moving the studio to the garage will have to be done at a later date because what's in the garage will need to be moved to the new barn that is scheduled to be built next month.
The charter bus company was looking at May as being the first tour she would like to do. We are optimistic that this could all be accomplished by then - if we stay on top of it.
I'll keep you posted...