On Coming to the Cork Factory: Bob Levine Interview Excerpt

Dublin Core


On Coming to the Cork Factory: Bob Levine Interview Excerpt


Excerpt from an oral history interview with Robert Levine. The interview was conducted in Baltimore, Maryland on October 6, 2012.


Aiden Faust


Station North Oral History Collection


University of Baltimore Special Collections & Archives





Oral History Item Type Metadata


Aiden Faust


Bob Levine


Baltimore, Maryland


AF: Could you just tell me a little bit about how you first came to live at 1601 Guilford?

BL: Yeah. I was a ceramic artist since 1974. From 1974 through 1983, I was living in the country, on the farm, making ceramic art, and decided I needed to be closer to my market, which was in New York City. Baltimore was about as close as I could get to New York City and afford the space. I lived in a temporary place before I moved here. A friend was taking a training for six months, so I took over their house and made it into a studio.

Then I’d heard about this place from a friend and they were renting it—it was owned by a printing company, Weant Press—what’s now the Cork Factory.

But then it was owned by Weant Press, and there were a whole bunch of different businesses in here, ranging from furniture refinishing to a staple company to a wax museum figure-making place to… I think MICA [Maryland Institute College of Art] had a studio in here, that I’m not sure they were using at the time, but they had it at one point.

There was a cabinetmaker in here. I knew the cabinetmaker and a space became available. This had been a furniture refinishing studio that I was in. They were renting it and they were renting it really cheap, but it would have required—just as a rental—to put a lot of money into it to make it into a studio. But because it was so cheap and so large—3,200 square feet for around $400 a month—I was willing to take the risk. I had a five year lease and put about $15,000 into it and made it into a live/work space.


Two minutes and five seconds


Aiden Faust, “On Coming to the Cork Factory: Bob Levine Interview Excerpt,” Exhibits from the Archives, University of Baltimore, accessed January 25, 2021, https://ubarchives.omeka.net/items/show/16380.