Built to Last

My neighbor, friend, and coworker Fisher thought immediately of Colin’s bike-centered fabrication and machine shop when I told him I was looking for self-created, soul-satisfying work spaces, and he was generous enough to introduce us via email.

Two weeks later, Daniel and I were walking toward the Equinox building–where Colin’s shop lives–in the most industrial part of Seattle’s industrial arts Georgetown neighborhood. With every step we took, I felt more out of my element. We passed a guy working on a pickup truck engine. Then a few more guys drinking beer at a cobbled-together table. Would there be any other women in the space? Then the walk down several long, dusty hallways. Metal vehicle parts and metal art hung at random on old nails, hooks.

I took a deep breath. Would I have anything in common with the man at the end of this hallway? And would he trust a woman whose fingernails suddenly felt ridiculously, obnoxiously, and actually arrogantly clean?

Still wishing I’d just left the afternoon’s gardening clothes and dirt on, I stepped through Colin’s door: shop 109.

Art Everywhere

As you approach Del Webber’s home/work space, a patch of forest rises out of a sea of strip malls, suburban houses, and wide-paved streets. His narrow gravel driveway reads like the first page of a really good murder mystery. What awaits us behind those trees? The trees dim the light the farther down his driveway you go. As you pull into his yard, it’s only as your eyes adjust to the dimmed forest light that you begin to notice the art.

Art everywhere.

Round wooden balls as tall as me casually tossed like marbles around the base of a tree. Chairs hanging like wind-chimes beneath a round tree house. Stone, wood, and metal sculptures poking out from behind tree branches and tucked into spaces that the forest appears to have created just for them. This is a magic place. And you can’t help but wonder about its caretaker. Wonder just who this city-forest-dwelling and giant-art-scattering human is…