Sunday 5 October 2008

Textile Work Spaces

This months 'Take it Further Challenge' is to think about your textile work space. How do you feel about this space? What role does it play in your life?
This was the subject of my very first post on this blog, written when I was about to move from a much loved space in a partially converted loft ( 2 photos below) and wondering how it would work out in my new home. This loft space had 2 Velux windows and was the full width of the house with built-in storage and work surfaces. Access was by a ladder which had its advantages in detaching myself from the world while I was up there and shutting the hatch on the mess when I'd finished.

Over a year later after we moved in , I've pretty well sorted out my working space - the 'master bedroom', the largest room in the house (except for the kitchen). As compensation, Ian got the bedroom with the best view overlooking the garden as his study ( and we can wave at each other across the landing)
The main difference is the loss of a design wall but this hasn't caused as many problems as I thought it would - I've hung a sheet from the back of the door but mainly use A1 size cork boards which are easy to move around.

The main working space is a huge desk (thanks to Sue), with our old solid butchers block kitchen table at right angles - a reasonable height for cutting out. For storage, I've just put up some bookshelves saved from the living room of our old property - they're just the right width for the alcove ( must be Edwardian Proportions, both old and new houses date from around 1905). For my art equipment I've got Ikea Ivar shelving and boxes that have aged nicely after 15 years.
You wouldn't believe the amount of stuff I got rid off during the process of moving but I've still managed to fill this huge 3 door wardrobe with fabric, smaller pieces in these baskets, yardage in big plastic crates.
In theory this is the guest bedroom ( a single fold-up bed) but they'd have to put up with the pins - Ian has a sofa bed in his study which is probably the safer option. The bed unfolded is quite useful for propping up the design boards.
I used my previous studio space for both stitching and painting, which meant being meticulous in clearing up between different activities and carrying buckets of water up ladders. Now, I've taken over the conservatory (more of a lean -to) for painting and printing. The light is fantastic even on a dull day (although it can get very hot). Money ran out before we could replace the lino - probably just as well - I trod on some monoprints that I'd left to dry on the floor and left a trail of glittery footprints. What is also different from my previous workspace is that it also houses my computer and printer. When I work from home on scientific papers etc, the cutting table is handy for laying documents out. The computer can of course be a terrible time waster but the benefits of being able to print fabric out or work directly in Photoshop means I'm much more productive ( and not having to shin up a ladder everytime I feel creative)
So overall while my working space has always been important to me ( and major factors in buying the last 2 properties), it is now the room I spend most time in , both for work and pleasure and my output has increased accordingly.
Now how to interpret this as a textile piece ? I'm wondering about a collage of photos from various viewpoints (it's a while since I used 'stitch -assist') or concentrating on one or two key items. I'll keep you posted!


Helen said...

thank for the look around :D what a great space you have now!

Sue said...

what about a piece to put up in your workspace. As the space is important, what about a piece about something important.

Julie said...

Looks like a great workspace. I like the "painting" on the easel :)

Mai-Britt Axelsen said...

One of my favorites, seeing other peoples workspace....
and work in progress. Thanks for sharing.