It’s been a dream for a long time now. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve sat on my porch up in the north woods visualizing a future with an actual building from which to run business and workshops. A Northern Michigan retreat for photographers to learn and practice a variety of processes. Photostock, back in 2006, was the first step, but the annual gathering started to draw more than I could handle on the property without some facility to take care of weather contingencies at the very least and a fully equipped workspace at the most. Not only could it be a place to offer workshops and events surrounding Photostock, it can become a year-round facility where specialists in our field are invited to come and teach.
While the site on my property has been staked out for several years now, I finally met with a chosen builder this week to have a look and give me a quote. What I am going for is a modest, 24×40 building with a 10 foot ceiling done in the post-frame style. The building will be broken into 4 separate spaces all fully equipped. A wet darkroom with 4 enlarger bays. An alternative process darkroom with a plate burner for making plates and prints. A digital workspace for output of positive and negatives. And finally an open, dry working area with an etching press, dry-mounting press, work tables, etc. This will be used as a main workshop areas as well. On the second floor will be space for up to 2 future dorm rooms for visiting instructors and other guests to use. There will also be a small toilet and shower room as well as an attached open air shower on the exterior of the building for campers staying on the site.
An ambitious plan for a simple photographer to be sure and there are the financial hurdles to clear. The equipment is no problem as I have been collecting it for years. This is a huge plus and I am now exploring ways to raise the $25,000 dollars needed to get the main structure and foundation completed. Stay tuned