March 2nd, 2021
This week, from art blog Hyperallergic: artists reflect on quarantining from their studios in San Diego, Milwaukee, and Chicago.
Richard Taylor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
My studio is set up to create sculpture in the Riverwest area of Milwaukee. Within it you will find a tig welder, metal rollers, a shear, press brake, and other metal-working tools necessary to fabricate sculptures in aluminum and steel. A friend of mine refurbishes old industrial neon signs.
I have one hanging in my studio warning me to “Always Be Careful,” which is often a heads-up to me, admonishing me to wear protective eyewear, gloves, respirator, etc., when welding or grinding. Now, however, in times of COVID-19, “Always Be Careful” has added significance, like opening windows and doors for ventilation when someone visits the studio, or keeping a supply of protective masks on hand.
My work routine has become much more demanding since the virus hit, as I had to ask my studio assistant to take a leave until we are vaccinated (Always Be Careful). His departure leaves me to do all of the fabricating on my own, and has decreased my productivity. His absence also eliminates the pleasure of camaraderie while making artwork. Much of my work leaves the studio in crates like the ones seen in the photo, adding crate-maker to my studio duties.