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THE1870 STUDIO
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FAQ

When we tell you where we live, there are some questions that always seem to be asked.

I'm going to try to answer the most common ones, but if you have one you want to ask, just ask us!

Priscilla 




Original church was destroyed by a tornado in 1898. The only thing that remains is the foundation, which the current building was built on. 

Interior in the 1930's.

Formerly, this was St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church


Commemorative plate from 1971 celebrating 100 years of service.

September 2016, a picture of me falling in love.

September 2022, little by little, one goes far.

We try to reuse everything here. September 2022

Stained glass in bathroom door by Priscilla

Glass from vitragraph pull by Priscilla & Morton

 



To see more pictures & videos of the church, please visit The1870.com

Do you do workshops?
Yes, in person & online.

Do you have regular hours?
No, all are by appointment or scheduled events.

Where do you sell your arts & crafts?
Usually online, in person & to some stores. 

Do you have an Etsy shop?
No, I try to keep my prices affordable & fees add up. I want everyone to be able to have original arts & crafts I create. All my items are here, just on this website in the SHOP.

What type of workshops?
I teach a variety of arts, crafts, specializing in stained glass, fused glass, painting and the emphasis is always on fun.

Do you have a real job?
This is my real job. Full time (actually way longer that full time) artist, crafter, creator, writer, instructor, motivator, dreamer and chaser of dreams!

What's your favorite art or craft?
Whichever one I'm currently doing. I'm an in-the-moment person.

Are you formally trained?
Yes and no. No degree in art, but have been a lifelong learner, have had various specialty courses and college classes for stained glass in Scotland.

Why did you buy a church?
While looking for blueberry bushes on Craigslist, something made me click on real estate. I still think that the church found us. 
Morton was at work so I went to see it on my own with our son. I fell in love with it at once, made the seller an offer he accepted & thankfully Morton fell in love with it too!
As an artist & crafter I saw it as the best three-dimensional canvas I've ever seen!

What did you pay for the church?
We bought it in 2016 for less than $40k. That was the cheapest part. Roof is 100k plus, and all the reno, even though we've done most things ourselves, is really spendy. We try to always get used items when possible but things like pipes, paint, etc., are not available like that.

Is it haunted?
Nothing but incredible vibes here, peace, possibilities and so much positive energy just sweep over you. I did hear someone snoring the summer of 2022, but that's the only strange thing that has happened, besides "church miracles" which are an all the time thing.

What is a church miracle?
If we lose something, need something, buy something that might fit or work, so many times, things seem to just appear or a need is filled by a divine intervention. My explanation is that we love the church so much, it loves us back. 

How did you meet?
Morton is from Scotland, I'm from Pennsylvania. We met online in 2001 in an Edinburgh chat room on Yahoo! From the first typed conversation I was fascinated with this person because they lived just 7 miles from Edinburgh Castle and had never been. To me, that seemed like something unfathomable & I had to know more.

How long have you been together?
Together since June 2001. On a forever honeymoon & every day together feels like Christmas!

Do you have children? 
We have two grown children, Morton never uses the word "step" and I love that so much. 

Do you have pets?
Only outdoor and wild ones! We love watching & feeding the birds, Nature abounds outside our home. We love pets but travel too much to be fair to them. 

How do you heat it?
There is an oil furnace that runs 22 radiators, but we try to never use it because the cost. We bought a second hand biomass stove that does an amazing job for free & use wood that has fallen around us.

How cold was it the first two winters without heat?
Cold! We had ice that would form on the inside of the windows, slept in sleeping bags on the floor, and Morton just came up on his days off work to help. He would always ask me how I could stand sleeping there and my secret was I would work until I was so tired, the cold didn't really matter. 

How much for air conditioning?
No air conditioning needed in the big room! It's a church miracle & the temperature never really gets above 72 degrees in the summer. There is a split unit in the studio that does heating & cooling as well as purifying the air. 

Is there a cemetery?
Yes, we have a cemetery that sits behind us, is not ours, is owned & cared for by the local diocese, and it's not haunted.

Do you have neighbors? 
Yes, the church sits at the top of the little village and a lovely couple live in the parish house beside the church.

Why haven't you been in the secret rooms?
Everything here takes time! We know there are two rooms blocked off by a wall. We do not want to take the wall down until we have some money saved for repairs and issues that the walls are probably hiding. Soon!

Will you film the opening of the secret rooms?
Of course! We'll stream it on our live social media channels as well.

How much paint did it take?
I stopped counting at 168 gallons, but I think well over 200 gallons. 

Where did you get all that stuff?
The stuff we have was found, thrifted, picked up by the road, given by friends and some personal things we have from our 21 years together and beyond. We really try to have things that we love, use and hold sweet memories around us.

How do you keep it clean?
Usually spend about 15 to 30 minutes a day in different areas giving it a tidy, then daily we do normal cleaning like dishes, bathrooms, etc.

How many bathrooms?
When we bought it, there was a male & female bathroom. They were both broken, frozen from years of sitting empty and had been filled with weird stuff (and we will leave it at that) and truthfully, we'd just use the woods while we were there cleaning. Now there are three bathrooms, one in the studio, two showers and a washing machine where the urinal had been in the gents.

The roof leaks, how did you fix them?
We knew when we bought it the roof was bad. We didn't realize the bell tower had a crazy leak that was like a waterfall every time it rained. Morton attempted some repairs, we hired lots of different people that thought they could fix it, but in the end, we had to just get a whole new roof on the bell tower & main roof. The total costs on all of them are over $100k and counting since we still have several more roofs to do here.

Do you pay taxes because it's a church?
Yes! We pay taxes. It's not a church anymore. It's our home & studio.

Do people visit?
Yes, we have friends over, volunteers coming to stay, and the studio is usually open at least once a month.