So, I regrouped and went out for more. And, we got a quote in that was more than half the original quote. WELL in our range of reasonable!
Drumroll: THUS, THE POTTERY STUDIO PROJECT IS A GO!
Unlike the upstairs, I'll try to document this better. We received a few Home Depot gift cards recently, so we're going to try to only use a portion of those for this project. Obviously, we can't pay the electrician with those (darn!), but having the electrician be the main cost will be ok by me.
I've already emptied out the garage of the three storage pieces for upstairs... and installed them! Well, if by "install" you mean put upstairs. Two still need doors and one needs to be painted, but it's better to have them up there and use them than having them clutter the garage. Photos to come!
PS: A special thank you to Young House Love for their recent post on bid-obtaining. I was skeptical the amount would come down much, but it did! Thanks YHL for giving me hope!