Sunday, June 7, 2009

Creating Space to Work

Many people have been clamoring for me to start building my one-of-a-kind jackets and hats again. The new gallery downtown wants to show them as does a local art center. Building art-to-wear of this type, however, means creating a huge mess which goes on for months and needs to be left out.

For years I shared this house with my six children. My work/studio space was either my bedroom or anywhere I could set up temporarily. I cut out fabric on the kitchen island or the dining room table. I laid projects out on my bed (sometimes sleeping on the couch to not disturb a project in process.) I stored fabric under the bed and in closets. Notions and supplies shared space with my clothes. My sewing table was in the bedroom.... You get the picture.

A few years ago I graduated to a tiny guest bedroom upstairs. I took over the closet and spread out on the bed and desk -- except when the room was needed for visitors. The room is so tiny, though, that project often spread into the hallway. Not very convenient.

Having a workspace suited to the art or craft that one is doing can make a huge difference in the quantity and quality of the work produced. It also affects one's desire to work. In the past, the small, cramped, messy places I tried to sew in often made this endeavor seem like a chore. When one's space is pleasant and workable, the joy and enthusiasm for work increases rather than diminishes.

I am again in the process of upgrading my studio space and expanding the work area into what was formerly the "bunk room." This is a long room in the back of the upstairs with bunk beds for the hoard of kids and relatives who come here during holidays. Since it is used rarely and sits next to my small art studio, I have decided to co-opt it for myself. I took out one of the beds, hired a young woman helper, and am moving furniture and supplies around. Here is a picture of what will become my new sewing workshop.

The bunk bed is behind the camera but there is still room for a folding cutting table (lower left) and a file cabinet for patterns. Fabric is stored in the nearby attic and the upstairs laundry room is next door, as is my art studio. Basically, I've taken over this end of the upstairs for my own domain. Yowza!


  1. Absolutely beautiful jackets. Wow.

  2. Gorgeous wearable art! Always enjoy the studio pics too