Projects: 9 July – 15 July

As we get back into the swing of blogging about the stuff going on up here, we’re juggling a lot this week:

Restoration:

  1. Finish formulas and patterns for the faux marble in main stairwell entrance.
  2. Clean, repaint, and refresh office area in Workrooms
  3. Design Deco sculptures for front entry to either be cast in bronze or paster and then gilded.

Sewing Classes:

  1. Lots of Open Sewing Studio time scheduled… 9 July, 10 July, 13 July, 14 July
  2. Verena’s ongoing wedding dress gets special attention this week – this week the skirts go in and she’ll be inserting the two zippers and starting the drape around the neckline
  3. Amber’s wedding dress is a last-minute addition to classes this quarter – it is substantially simpler than Verena’s dress, so we said yes to the dress and threw it into the mix.  Welcome to the crazy Summer dress party, Amber!

Clothing & Design:

  1. This is going to be the Summer of custom dress shirts. I may even sneak a few in for myself.
  2. Two words: Linen pants
  3. We’ve been playing around with tambour and some smocking techniques in new ways for a new private collection

Agricultural Stuff:

  1. Drafting out masonry heater and fireplace plans for the cabin
  2. Planning out garden and deck areas
  3. Late Fall schedule set for November – December work

General Business Stuff:

  1. Fall registration under way
  2. Summer studio time registrations
  3. Daily blog and social media entries

And that is the week, folks.  Let the glamour wash over you like a waterfall of glitter and delight.

 

 

 

Like Emerging From Purgatory…

When we took over the spaces at 4403 N Sheridan in 2003, we started small.

Really small.
Like 210 square feet kinda small.

View of original workroom

Original Workroom #203

Borris Powell in #203

Draughting!

This is the first space we had: #203. That’s right: 7×30 feet. We weren’t running full classes at the time – Tchad was still working for VSM International, the company that manufactures Viking brand sewing machines and couldn’t take the time to expand with his corporate job. The only students who have seen this space were our dedicated design students: Borris Powell (of
Borris Powell Designs) and Amanda Kezios (of Mojospa).

We were working with a number of private clients, but we were strictly using #203 as a factory in miniature. All of our fittings and deliveries were taken directly to the client so they didn’t have to deal with cramped quarters. Scores of dresses and interior projects came out of this little space.

Tchad Floor Stamp

Making one's mark.

All of that changed in the Spring of 2004 when #205, the space to the North opened up. Tchad had quit his job teaching for VSM and was ready for a challenge.

Skylight

OH! A skylight

Well, a challenge is certainly what we got.

After the drop ceilings came down, we got a real sense of what we were up against. Turns out the ceilings had been put up for a reason. We aren’t terribly fond of the “it’s good enough for government work” mentality that permeates the Ohio River Valley we grew up in, so we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.

This had to be right.

Almost makes "The Rat Incident" worth it.

When you start a rehab project, you should anticipate surprises. Sometimes they are expected, like when you find out that some joker has cut the electric lines and there they sit – quite live. Sometimes they are unpleasant, like when you find a desiccated rat tangled in a pair of size 34-waist men’s briefs (sorry, no pic but: yes. Yes we did. Our first thought: “Fruit-of-Rat’s-Tomb” we aren’t terribly clever here). And sometimes you are very pleasantly surprised, like when you discover a large 2.5×6 foot functioning industrial skylight under your dropped ceilings.
Jackpot.

Now…

We had written a long, drawn-out spiel about what and how we grew from #203 to #201-209.

We were going to drone on and on about the first expansion when we took over #205 and added it to #203, then the second expansion when we took over #207, then the heartbreak of taking over #209 (it had been used as a hiding-place for feral cats). We were going to post and boast of the joy of laying lime plaster and our crazy skills with hanging 5/8″ drywall single-handed. Maybe some things about how we developed a method to eliminate basebaords and door trim. Some kind of celebratory look-at-us when we finally expanded to our physical limits and took over #201.

There was going to be something here about how we single-handedly rehabbed the building’s public restrooms with pictures that would make the world’s most jaded DCFS agent cringe.

We were going to write about the struggle of self-financing this much work and the pride we take in doing things for ourselves and how we feel that the creative community in general is held back not by a lack of spirit, but rather by a lack of functional knowledge of how to make things happen instead of relying on others or complaining/inventing excuses.

Throw in a few paragraphs about having had to scale back the client-side of the business since 2007 for lack of infrastructure, time, or energy and how that has held back our design work for three years.

All of it with pictures documenting our work, pain, and progress.

But no.

We are chomping at the bit to get everything underway.

Let’s let a couple of pictures speak for themselves.

Dust masks are trés fashionable!

How Tchad has looked for the past three years when not teaching classes.

After dropped ceilings came down

Bad. Really bad. Everything looked like this.

So here we are, writing about this in late September of 2010.

We have moved on, grown up, and:

Our space is set and we are ready to go.





NEW SPACE!

201-203

Gallery & Workroom...

209 Tchad Chicago Classroom

Classroom

New Classroom!

Classroom 209

Let’s do this!

We are working on it!

So the old general Tchad.biz blog just wasn’t cutting it and here we are.
The blogs have been divided up into separate sites for Projects, Classes, and Design. This is going to be the first post for each of them.
This has turned out to be the default image when we are working on stuff:

Coping Marble at the Sheridan-Montrose building in Chicago.

*chip*chip*chip* We are getting there! *chip*chip*chip*

That’s right. Coping Marble. This pic was from the 2007-8 bathroom restoration at the Sheridan-Montrose building where we have our workrooms. What you aren’t seeing is the aftermath…

After having coped out the perfect ridge in the base of the 2 inch marble slabs, we stood it up and walked over to another part of the hall… CRASH …and a 100 year old piece of marble crashed into hundreds of pieces.

Hopefully the build-outs of the blog will go better.