Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Apartment progress

Steve and Joel ripping out the old attic and roof. They are standing about where the new kitchen will be.

Steve O'Byrne and his father, John, preparing for the new roof which will cover the whole building, front to back.

Steve and John O'Byrne attaching the new woodwork to the old parapet.

This shows where the new bathroom will be. The steam is the exhaust from the furnace.

The garage now has a floor. It took a lot of heat to thaw the ground and keep things from freezing as the concrete cured.

We've got HEAT!

One of the effects of this remodeling is to move the utility entry point. The electric was moved to a temporary entry point, but the natural gas had to be shut off until it could be installed permanently. So for about a month we've had heat only with electric heaters. They work, but...

On Monday, 12/28, the gas was reinstalled and the furnace restarted. Sort of.

Turns out the thermostat had died. It was one of those nice fancey programmable six ways from Sunday ones. They either work wonderfully or - now its trash. Fortunately my electrician, Matt, had a replacement in his truck. All is warm now!

Friday, December 11, 2009


From the very begining I was intending to add a garage with an upstairs apartment to the back of the building. Eventually. When I discovered the back wall was rotten beyond patching and the brick facade crumbling, 'eventually' got bumped up to 'NOW'.

Here Steve and Joel are setting the foundation wall. We elected to use these foam concrete forms.

Steve setting one of the garage roof joists that will be the apartment floor.

Joel setting the joist next to the old wall.

The view above the bathroom. The whole ceiling will be removed and the room remodeled. The volume shown, along with some where the 'roof' is, will become part of the apartment. Lots of work.

Let There Be Light!

This Fall I had Matt Asphal install some floods and electric sockets so the flag can be illuminated and Christmas lights lit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 4, 2009

The Rose Pedaler is a gift store and B&B in Rose Creek, about 20 miles west of LeRoy. We share the need to promote the area to bring outside money in and both realize it.

The day was drizzly to rainy. And cold. I gathered the crushed rock together to make a little mound so my shoes could stay dry. I'm told this is the first in 9 years that the weather has not been beautiful. I hadn't realized it, but aparently her advertising had mentioned 'glass blower demonstrating' or some such but I didn't bring my torch because of the weather.

Anyway, the Austin TV and newspaper covered the event and my picture was included.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This evening, Tuesday, September 15, The LeRoy Pleasure Club came to visit. They first had a chance to browse and see what the store has to offer.

Later there was a brief presentation of some of the flameworked glass sculptures including a dog, snail, turtle, marble and a blown ornament.

Monday, September 7, 2009

On July 11 we had the Grand Opening.

A lot of people came to see what we had and to shop. About 50 people registered in the Guest Book.

In the evening the Irish Minstrels provided entertainment.

They had a rapt audience.

A fun day and a successful Opening.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Off and running

The Center opened June 4th as scheduled, but I've been so busy with details and things that wouldn't show well, that I've had plenty of excuses not to update this. Sorry!

Here is the 'finished' exterior. Still needs signage, but that will come.

YES! We Are Open! Come on in, please!

"The Nursery" - Dolls by Elsie Reed, so realistic I keep expecting to hear them crying.

Weaving by Cathy Roetzler. Some of the handbags on the wall she not only wove the fabric, but had the guts to cut it up!

Some of the glass sculptures by Dave Perkins and wood turnings by Lyle Solem.

Photos by Mary Trella, wood toys by Joe Kempke and whimsey from Cindy Bandel.

Wearable art by Jean Munson.

The glass studio portion of the Center.

Water colors by Dona Schuman.

I love sunsets and this was a good excuse.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The mess is gradually being replaced by progress. Here is how the front looks today:

I've been talking with people, inviting them to display and sell through the Center. I hope you are one of them! I had originally thought I'd better plan on preparing a small space at the front of the store so things don't seem too spread out. Now I'm wondering if there is enough space. This is certainly an exciting adventure!

Things still look OK to open the doors June 4 with a Grand Opening July 11. Tight, but OK. When stock starts coming in May 21st, it will probably be chaotic, but it should still workout.

Steve O'Byrne and Joel of Southern Construction, the re-modelers, found the access to the attic. It is kind of neat up there. The ceiling rafters change from 4' and the rear to 8' at the front. There is plenty of evidence of the fire that closed down the restaurant that was in the building in the 30's. I need to research the building history more. With over a century of life, it has seen a lot of changes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Making a mess.
Finally got some decisions made and help together. Today we took out the front of the store - the windows (broken plate glass) and glass block below them.

This is a view similar to the one in the first post.

With just a beginning of a knee wall, the day was ending so sheething was put up to keep weather and the curious away. That is Steve O'Byrne and Joel (?) doing the real work.
Much of the glass block is salvagable. One of the artists clean them up and make table lamps and Christmas decorations.
The LeRoy Independent newspaper ran a nice front-page article on the Gallery. It should be available at www.leroyindependent.com. Look for the 4/23/09 articles.
More mess tomorrow. Hopefully a lot of wood work will get done.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trying to balance the level of detail in this thing. Don't want to bore you with trivia, nor set up the expectation of daily posting. Oh, well. It will probably never be just right. Sorry about that.

Discovered another 'opportunity'. All the (active) wiring is currently in conduit and the sockets are the modern 3-prong grounded type. That is good, modern and up to code. Even though the outlets and conduit are at waist level, I can work around them for the displays. I had to remove some of the conduit to get at the wall and discovered that there are only 2 wires, not 3, to each socket. So a grounded plug does no good, just gives you a false sense of safety. I was thinking of adding another wire for a ground, but in talking with a neighbor with lots of remodeling experience I see I'll get a better system if I scrap the conduit and run new wiring behind the baseboard. It will be truly up to code and be more flexible for shelving and displays. Oh, well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Web site

Created a web site tonight using one of the tools provided by 1and1. Like the physical store, it needs a lot of work, but that will come in due time. It is at www.leroycca.com.

Speaking of store, the front brick facing is bowed out in places and may well need to be taken off. If I do that, which is my current thought, I'll have an overhang built on and just regular siding. That will give the customers shelter from the elements and keep the hottest sun off the windows. We'll see.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

First time

So, what IS the LeRoy Center for the Creative Arts? (Glad you asked that!)

Well, the Center is many things to many people.

  • Basically it is a consignment Art and Craft store. Vendors bring their creations in and the Center displays and sells them.

  • There is space for general classes and workshops.

  • There is additional space devoted to sculpting borosilicate (Pyrex type) glass, usually called Flame Working.

  • The Center should bring visitors, students and vendors from outside of just LeRoy.

  • Personally, this is an attempt to 'give back' to the community at large.

The address is 111 East Main, LeRoy, MN 55951

The building used to house a taxidermy and is being remodeled to look something like:

There's a ton of work ahead, but it should all work.

So, if you have something you've created that you want displayed and sold, let me know.