Studio Spaces

For a while I have had a project in mind to photograph and interview creative people in their studio environment. It has been on the back burner because I couldn’t really justify the time involved. When my interest was sparked again recently, my husband said “Why don’t you just start?”

So, January 2016 is the start date of The Studio Stories Project. Each month I plan to post an interview with a textile artist about their studio and work processes. Josh Wells will photograph the artists in their studio space.

Most of us long for a beautifully designed, large, well lit studio space. This is where we will be our creative best. I have mine planned….

I have had “studios” in several sheds, garages, (way too hot to work in summer)  a group studio setting, a cupboard and currently at home. These spaces have suited the needs of my art practice in its various forms over the years, some more than others… This studio space below was in an old cool drink factory/stables in North Perth. The building was demolished and a block of units has been there for over 20 years now.

North Folk Studios

North Folk Studios – My first group studio space

Print table

Print table

My own studio where I stitch, cut, plan and assemble sometimes becomes a guest bedroom. This really is a good opportunity to have a much needed clean up! It can also help me focus by putting away all the distractions.

Sept 2013 061

Sept 2013 062My current studio space. Usually it is not never this tidy!

Sept 2013 063Sept 2013 064Sept 2013 067All the messy/paint/dyeing work is done elsewhere. I print smallish pieces of fabric in my laundry on a good sized purpose built bench and I store all the inks and dyes there. I have set up a padded table in the shed for the occasions when I want to print larger ares. The dyeing is done outside. I tend to have a run of printing or dyeing to build up a supply of ready to use fabrics and then spend most of my time in the studio. This way of working fits fairly well into our family lifestyle.

I find it fascinating to see and hear about how and where creative people work. It is not only in the perfect studio that amazing works are made. The more I read and investigate the more I find this to be so. Many years ago I read a biography of Ruth Park the Australian author in 1940s who wrote among other books The Harp in the South. Her husband D’Arcy Niland was also a writer. Ruth spent most of her working life writing on an ironing board because her husband wrote at the desk!   I know of artists who paint in their bedroom for lack of other available space…. I really admire quilter Ruth De Vos for her ability to produce an amazing quantity of work with 6 young children. She has a beautiful studio AND she is very, very organised!

I have recently read Daily Rituals How Artists Work by Mason Currey (blurb says – details nearly 200 routines of some of the greatest minds of the last four hundred years…) It is fascinating to read the variety of environments and ways creative people work.

I’m looking forward to discovering and sharing here the variety of studio spaces other artists have and how they use them.


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