One of them is readily accessible, and holds work fresh from the kiln, glazed pots being held over for the next firing, a constantly revolving array of work-in-progress and work bound for home and sale. The other is tucked in an alcove, hard to move ware boards in and out of, and tends to just accumulate... stuff. It's like an attic, or the back of the hall closet. You never know what's in there, or how long it's been.
So I put on my dust mask, because the amount of air-born clay you can accumulate over time is frightening, got a sponge and a bucket, and had at it.
The first thing I discovered was I could tell how long it had been. I found blank inventory sheets dated 2001 on the top shelf, among other things, suggesting that the entire side had been little disturbed since I took over the space from Corey and Kelly back about then. I also found silkscreens and ink, and a box of Off Center Ceramics t-shirts from an ill-fated attempt to expand into the "I'm traveling and can't take back anything fragile" market. I think I only ever sold two, one rooster and one cat. This was a box of a couple dozen cats shirts, screen-printed, but without the hand-coloring that differentiated a yellow tiger from a brown-point siamese. They were also weirdly mottled in spots. Apparently, newsprint contains enough traces of bleach that it can take out the color of a yellow shirt where it touches.
I donated the silkscreens to Maude Kerns; they're restarting their printmaking classes this spring. The ink and fabric paints went in the dumpster, the shirts will mostly go to Goodwill, except for a few Denise kept back to wear. Anyone want one? I've got medium, large, and extra-large.
I also found a variety of broken bisque, test tiles, and old magazines, dumpster-bound. A pasta bowl with scarred rim, kept because it heroically gave its life to hold up the shelves when a kiln post failed. Some books that, after dusting, will come home to my studio collection. A couple of burnished, pit-fired pots from an earlier series of work than never really found an audience. And a bunch of small sculptures.
I used to teach hand building and sculpture, both at the UO Craft Center and later, at Club Mud. I didn't keep all of my demos, but I did keep some, which is how I wound up with:
1. A goose with a mustache, double chin and work boots. ("Self-portrait as an animal of your choice.")
2. A nude torso, self-portrait with bar of soap. ("Make a nontraditional gargoyle, modeled solid and and hollowed.")
3. This rather nice primitive ram sculpture, pit-fired. ("Seal two pinch pots together and build a hollow sculpture from them.)
Not sure what to do with all this stuff; I keep thinking I'll put the gargoyle on a downspout when I eventually build a kiln and its enclosure. For now, I've just cleaned everything off and consolidated them on a single shelf. I've still got half a dozen shelves to go through, and a few ideas about re-organizing the space to make it more accessible, possibly paint the raw wood. We did that on the front half a few years ago, and it really brightened up the space.
Maybe in another 20 years.