the making of okan arts shop :: Okan Arts
the making of okan arts shop

the making of okan arts shop

By Patricia Belyea  

SEATTLE WA  When Michael suggested in April that we build a shop for my yukata cottons in our daylight basement, I immediately rejected the idea. I couldn’t imagine our downstairs, a bit of a hellhole after 26 years, as an appealing place.

My mind opened up to the idea within a few hours. Michael showed me how he could build display cabinets above the bulky concrete footings. The sloped concrete floor could be leveled and carpeted. The 6×6 support post could be transformed into something interesting. And the windows could be replaced.

Okan Arts Shop in Seattle

When we started talking about adding a classroom space, I really got excited. The final resolve was to build a 4′ x 10′ table to hold sewing stations for four students, with pop-up design walls when classes are in session.

Okan Arts Shop in Seattle

The final touch was to move a potted Japanese maple that had been in our backyard for 12 years to the entrance of Okan Arts Shop. First, I made a 4.5 hour roundtrip to Gig Harbor to buy a chain winch from a Craigslist seller. Then Michael used the winch to get the 300-pound tree and pot onto our deck. Getting it off our deck was a bigger proposition—using the winch, ropes, a harness, a 24′ scaffolding board and three men.

Okan Arts Shop in SeattleYukataYa4REV

Journeying from an idea to the tangible reality of Okan Arts Shop takes my breath away. We did it!

If you want to visit Okan Arts Shop in Seattle, please contact me at to set up an appointment.

To shop for yukata cottons at Okan Arts online, +click here

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