When it's too hot to work in the industrial loft where she creates metal sculptures, artist Vicky Randall heads out to cooler, higher places: her air-conditioned jewelry studio in a treehouse.
"It's not really a treehouse," Randall qualifies; rather, it's a roughly 10-square-foot wooden structure with a pitched roof that perches on stilts nine feet above the ground, nestled under the branches of a pair of oak trees outside her home. Randall and her husband, paramedic Carl Schreiner, put in drywall, air conditioning and glass in the roof when they bought the house 16 years ago, and Randall painted the floor with marbled blocks. Multi-level decks and stairs set in a pool of ferns leads up to the French doors of the studio, which is now stocked with her library of slides and the equipment she uses to make fine gold and silver jewelry.
"We've done extensive work on it," Randall says. "It's a pretty spiffy treehouse."