Take a Break


alicia_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif

Scene Title Take a Break
Synopsis Quinn takes time out of her hectic life to relax and paint… well, not roses. She also catches up with a friend at the same time.
Date March 5, 2011

The Painted Pot Ceramics Studio

The Painted Pot, technically, doesn't open until 11am any day of the week — most especially weekends. But those are the studio's public hours; the artists who work there, work the hours they see fit. Which is why, when Quinn rattles the door a full two hours before official opening, someone arrives in short order to unlock it and let the musician in. After all, Alicia is the reason she's here.

Alicia's wardrobe of the day is a burgundy short-sleeved shirt and light blue jeans, half-hidden beneath a canvas apron soundly soiled with perhaps years of ground-in clay. Her hands are at least clean as she unlocks the door; still gloved, even, in a thin layer of gray cloth that is even less mandated in the climate-controlled studio than in the mild early-spring sunshine outside. "'Morning, Quinn. Come on back."

The interior of the studio consists of a mix of cinderblock and normal drywall walls, painted over in light colors; blue, green, or rose in different rooms. The linoleum flooring was once patterned white, but after years of use is now more of a patterned gray. Shelves on the walls hold a variety of display pieces: ceramics, mosaics, and even a few stuffed animals in finished form. Freestanding shelves in the back rooms support row after row of pottery in unfinished stages — the muddy gray of greenware separated from the dull offwhite of bisque, which in turn sits apart from glazed items awaiting a final firing. Alicia leads her guest back to a relatively clean table, speckled with dust and paintspatter but no wet clay.

"Such quick service," Quinn quips as she steps in the door, offering a smile in Alicia's direction. She's out early for a day-off Saturday, particularly one so soon after the string of events earlier in the week. But sometimes, one just needs to get out for a bit. Some fresh air, a fresh face. That was part of the reason Quinn had called Alicia originally, at least. That, and it had just plain been too long since the pair of them had spoke for any real amount of time.

Hands are slipped into a sky blue hoodie, marked with accents of a pale yellow and darker blues across it in no real discernable pattern, a bag sling over her shoulder and hanging down to her dark blue, ankle length skirt, a pair of low feeled boots claping on the floor as she steps in, looking around with each step.

"This place always impresses me," she notes as she pauses to look over the unfinished products. "It's interestin' t' see works of art as they go through the working stages." With that, she resumes her walk behind Alcia, a look offered off to the glazed works that sit, ready to be cast into finality. "So, too long, no speak. I'm glad I was able t'come by t'day. How've the last few months been treating you?"

Alicia casts a grin towards Quinn. "Too long indeed. Not counting yesterday — or the concert — what's it been… since before Christmas, right?" She tips her head sideways, indicating by gesture the tall cabinets standing against a nearby wall. "Mind if I paint while we talk?"

Which is not to say she's missed — or ignoring — Quinn's question. "Pretty good, actually," Alicia continues. "I mean, all things considered. Business has picked up since the turn of the year — I'd say it hit an all-time low in November, but that would be exaggerating a bit," she says, holding up one gloved hand with index finger and thumb pressed together. Just a little. "Nothing too special going on. How about you? Did you go anywhere for the holidays?"

"Not at all!" is an enthusiastic reply from Quinn, the musician finding a seat she likes and settling down, her bag set on the table in front of her. Her iPad is pulled out, thankfully covered given the environs, and set aside. "I used t' watch mum paint all the time, when I was still living up in Boston. It's always fun, at least until someone makes a mistake. Then I just kinda feel bad."

Leaning forward a bit, elbows against the table in front of her, Quinn smiles somewhat widely. "I think everything was was at an all-time low in Novermber," she says dryly. "It got bad enough that I didn't even spend a few weeks of it in town. Went back up north for a bit. Hit the bookstore I was workin' at pretty hard, since they closed off Roosevelt t' most people after that. A real shame, really." Resuming her look around the room, though, she can't help but smile a bit more. "The last week has been hell, t' be honest, but most everythin' before that was quite good. The concert, you know about, an' the CD that came with it. I'm working over at Studio K now, an' I should have a show there premiering on the radio next week. Finally got everything cleared for that."

Clenching one hand into a sort of fist, her knuckles crack, and she turns to look more directly at Alicia. "I'm glad to hear that this place is doing well, though. A lot of other places like this, smaller places, were kind of floundering after the riots. And then the Dome… So, I'm happy to see that everything's worked out so far. Hopefully, it keeps on going like that."

"Yeah. I was on Roosevelt," Alicia admits, as she walks over to the cabinets. "At the time. It was… crazy." In the understatement of the century. Opening the cabinet, she picks out three small plastic jars, sides opaque but labeled with their contents. "Was glad when they finally let us go home." The blonde shakes her head a bit, bringing the jars over to the table. Paintbrushes come out of a drawer, and a bone-white vase from the bisque shelves. Only when all of these are assembled on the table, the jars uncapped, does she sit down and tug off her gloves.

"It's the kids, I think. School groups, parties, regulars who come by every week. If all we did was art, we'd probably have sunk years ago." Alicia lifts a hand with crossed fingers anyway. "Still. Thanks. We need all the luck we can get." Dipping a broad brush in the jar of robin's-egg-blue glaze, she begins to layer it on the vase. "Congrats on the show! Good to hear that's going through. What's the timeslot?" Presumably so she can tune in to listen.

"Fridays, three t' five I think is what we have set up at the moment. It's a small show, for the moment. An experiment, really. The woman in charge was catious about putting a show dedicated to small and unsigned bands on. It's a bit of a legal nightmare too, but… it's goin' on. I think it'll do well enough t' expand, at least." Quinn smiles, looking at the paint, watching as Alicia begins to paint it over the vase with rapt attention. Her eyes don't really leave it when she starts to speak again.

"I don't envy anyone who was on Roosevelt. I have a few friends who lived out there at the time. Still do. Still… I think I'd rather live there than Staten." Which forces her to grimace for a moment, before she sits up a bit. "Kids really do make the world go 'round, eh?" She smirks as she speaks, breaking contact from the vase so that she can look back up at Alicia. "I actually did come by with a bit of something in mind, though, if you don't mind indulgin' me."

Alicia nods, not turning from her current task despite the shift in Quinn's attention. Turning it slowly, she looks to be putting a coating of blue around the entire outside surface. "I'll keep an ear out for it," she promises the musician. "Sure, fire away. Can't hurt anything to listen, right?" the potter replies, glancing up in the other woman's direction with a brief grin. "What kind of something?"

"Well, it was two things, really…" Quinn starts, sitting up a bit straighter, and looking a bit more serious. "I've been tryin' t' involve as many people as I know that I think could contribute something t' this whole music thing I've got goin'. Like… one big project kinda thing!" She beams a bit, before leaning back forward. "Anyway… I would ask you if you wanted to do piano at some of my smaller shows, but… I know you do all this more now. So.. I was kinda wondering if I could get you t' sculpt something I could use for an album cover. I've already started workin' on something new. A real, full album, that I want t' have done this year."

Now Alicia pauses more seriously in her glazing, setting the brush across the jar's mouth and considering Quinn for a moment. "My piano's nothing but rusty," she says, with a bit of a self-deprecating smile. "I wouldn't want to put it on show. Ceramics…" She gestures at the shelves around them; only a small portion of the contents are actually her own work, shared as this space is, but they represent the idea of it well enough. "Sure, no problem. Do you have ideas for what that something is? Or are you leaving it up to my inspiration?"

The smile Quinn gives is both genuine and amused. "I figured that may be the case, but I didn't think it could hurt t' ask, you know?" She shrugs a bit, looking thoughtful as she props her head against the palm of her hand, elbow pressed against the table. "Nothin's struck me from what I have so far. Only title I've kinda considered from the few songs I'm workin' on right now is "The Guest", but that doesn't really evoke a particular image with me. So, if you want t', I'll leave it up to your creativity. I trust it t' turn out really well, however it comes out." Her other hand taps the table, Quinn grinning. "It's just… like I said, I like gettin' people I know involved in what I do. I thought you might enjoy gettin' t' be really creative for somethin' like that."

"All right," Alicia agrees. Picking the brush back up, she turns the vase around so the incompletely-painted side is to hand. "Lemme know when you get a few songs more settled, and we'll figure a deadline for the piece then. We can haggle on price once I have an idea or three. Sound good?" Having finished the pale blue layer, she puts the brush aside in a shallow plastic bin, capping the glaze jar. Another one is opened to reveal paint in vivid grassy green; it's a smaller, more delicate brush the artist dips into this color.

"Well…" Quinn's fingers tap on her iPad, a moment passing before she dips back into her bag, pulling out a few thin CD cases. "I think that sounds good t' me, really. I'm not really worried about the price," which might not be the smartest thing to say, "since I know it'll be quality. But if you wanted an idea of the songs I'm workin' on…" She holds up two of the CDs, marked "Concert 1" and "Concert 2". "I played a few of them at the concert, an' I have two mostly done demos, if you wanna listen t' those." She shrugs a bit, setting them aside, instead watching intently as Alicia resumes painting, seemingly extremely interested in this process.

Alicia looks over at the CDs as Quinn holds them up, and nods. "Sure, that'll be a good start." Later, that is. Long, gliding strokes draw the abstraction of leaves on one side of the vase, grassy blades curving up the vessel. Between two of them, the young woman lifts her gaze again, glancing sidelong at Quinn. Her lips tug up in a closed smile. "You want to take a go?" she asks, brushtip gesturing towards the glaze jars. "We've got bisques and to spare."

"Huh?" Quinn quirks an eyebrow, eyes following Alicia's gesture. "…Oh! Ah, well… I could, but you know I'm no good at this kind of thing, I'd hate t' ruin someone's fantastic piece of art." Still, though, she's sliding her iPad back into her bag and rising up from her seat. "Remind me what I need for this? It's much too long since I've glazed anything. I think since mum dragged me out t' pottery classes the last time I was in Boston for more than a few days…"

Alicia grins at Quinn, then leans a little sideways and points towards a shelf behind her. "Pick whatever pot— " Or vase, cup, plate, sculpture. "— on that shelf you like. And whatever colors you want from that cabinet." The pointing finger swerves accordingly. "There's brushes in the nearest drawers." Setting her hand down, Alicia shrugs a bit. "That's about it! Try not to spill the glazes, and above all don't eat them," is added with a teasing grin. "Manage that, and you'll do fine."

She makes it sound so simple! Quinn goes for a small cup. Best to start on the side of things where it's not a huge loss if she totally screws something up, or at least thats what she thinks. White and a sky blue are retrieved for colours, and appropriate brushes retrieved from the drawers, each item brought over to the table one after another. This time, she takes a seat across from Alicia, inspecting each individual item carefully before doing anything else. "You know, I hadn't planned on spendin' my morning doin' this, but thanks for lettin' me. I could use a little bit of random fun this week."

The blond chuckles. "You're welcome," she replies. "Be random to your heart's content," Alicia adds expansively. The third jar of glaze before her proves to be purple, as she proceeds to add flowers in the midst of leaves and stalks. "We've got the studio basically to ourselves for the next two hours. Unless any of the other artists are feeling lively this morning… but they're usually slow on Saturdays."

"I think my girlfriend would love this," Quinn notes as she dips the larger brush she grabbed into the light blue, before taking it to the cup. "I'll have t' bring her by sometime. We'll make an evening of it, I think. Maybe a semi-regular thing. I keep finding, uh, ways t' break my glassware, so making a ceramic set on our own could be a lot of fun." Looking back towards the door, Quinn grins a bit. "I'm not sure what I'm going t' put on mine yet."

"You're certainly welcome to," Alicia replies. Her painting continues without pause as she speaks. "We've got a lot of beginner classes, if you want to make them from scratch — or you can just grab whatever looks good from back there and paint it." Glancing over at Quinn, Alicia smiles. "That's what everything on those shelves are for. Practice pieces, stuff not quite up to sale standards for whatever reason, mysteries no one labeled… A lot of people like to just do the glazing."

"The glazing is pretty fun," Quinn remarks as the blue-dipped brush makes a broad stroke against the outside of her cup. "But I think she'd rather learn how to do it from scratch, so we'll probably give that a shot," she says with a bit of a nod as she draws back, considering her cup for a moment. "Besides, if we're going t' find something artsy to do together that's not music, might as well support a friend an' not half-ass it!" She draws the brush against it again, the other way, before looking up at Alicia. "So, besides the craziness, an' doin' a good job keepin' this place afloat, what've you been up to?"

Alicia glances over at Quinn, then lifts her shoulders in a brief shrug. "Oh, usual sorts of things. Like I said, haven't been up to anything spectacular or special." She trades the purple glaze for a second shade of green, tracing a sinuous vine around the width of her vase. "Didn't even go anywhere for the holidays, this time — with the state the city was in, plus all the weather that came through, I wasn't sure when or if I'd be able to come back home." Valid concern, especially after last year, when winter took an unnaturally long time to leave. "And I have too much invested here."

There's a bit of a small chuckle from Quinn, giving a shallow nod in Alicia's direction before she resumes her glazing. "The holidays were… busy. To say the least. I'm just glad we haven't had anythin' like last year. I don't think I could stomach that much snow ever again, an' I've certainly had my fill of hospitals because a' it." She smirks, switching over now to the white paint, with a thinner brush. Looks like she's going simple, with blue sky and white clouds. "I know what you mean, though. Even if I wanted t' leave, I couldn't. Too much going on here."

"Yeah. Exactly that." Alicia shakes her head a bit, as she adds leaves to the vine; pauses to let them dry, and to consider the artwork-in-progress. The imagery now resembles purple crocus peeking up over ivy ground cover, against the pale blue background. "My parents tell me on about a weekly basis that I should move. Back to Indiana — or just plain anywhere that isn't here. Especially…" The blonde hesitates a moment, glances over at Quinn, as one might when catching a thought and thinking better of actually stating it. "…well, since November. And the whole Dome thing has just been more fuel on that fire; never mind I wasn't ever near it."

"Mum says that if anyone can make livin' here not terrible, it's me. I dunno about that, but I try. It's hard sometimes though," Quinn relates, though her gaze stays focused on the cup in front of her. "Dad hates that I live here, but there's not much he can do about it from Waterford, as much as he'd like t'." There's a more wistful laugh, Quinn sitting back in her seat a bit. "Like I said, though… can't leave. Not as long as I live beneath a recording studio, at least. You should come by sometime. Enjoy some music, some fun. I'm thinking of throwing a party next weekend, you're welcome t' come."

Alicia looks up at Quinn, and nods. "We'll see how the schedule works out — my current class has a couple more weeks to go — but I'll definitely keep that in mind. Let me know details when you have them?" Or if she has them, given that the party's still in thinking stage.

"Hopefully, it works out well. The place I live now, it tends t' be good for parties. A recording stereo above, a resturant an' music venue belove." QUinn snickers, shaking her head. "Perfect really. I lucked out big time on that one."

With that, she scoots forward a bit, taking a the big blue coated brush, and beginning to fill in the inside slowly. But it's when she goes to redip her brush that disaster almsot strikes, her wrist bumping the edge of the container and almost knocking it over, breaking one of the two cardinal rules she'd be given. It's pure luck that she's quick enough to grab it before it falls over and gets everywhere, letting out a sigh of relief as she looks over at Alicia with a smirk.

"Maybe I should take a break, before I totally cock this up."

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