all packed up

I'm taking this road show north. What tools are essential?

Leaving behind: that ergonomically correct table and chairs, the custom ironing platform, movable cutting table, large design walls, backyard garden, fabric stash, home library, large screen computer, a good music system, family and familiarity.

Taking with me: scraps of fabric, my sister-in-laws machine (because my Bernina is being temperamental), Black thread, white thread, a pouch of notions, batting, three books of poetry, my camera, my ipad and some scrap paper. 

I am not taking any works-in-process. I am not taking preconceived ideas. I am not sure it will all work. But it all fits neatly into this tub. I wonder if trimming excess will build inspiration?

All I need is a cot and a hot plate

Walking into the studio this morning I was welcomed by sun streaming into the windows, six different projects on the tables and an intriguing list of research subjects to pursue. The studio was reorganized from top to bottom this past weekend due to the helpfulness of my wonderful husband. We installed new shelving that allowed for more floor space and direct lines of sight from my sewing station to the design board.

Now all I need is a cot and a hot plate. I never want to leave this space.

Studio habits

A fellow fiber artist, Lisa Call, posted this set of questions on her blog recently (click here for her take on these questions). She invited others to do the same. Here is an inside peek into my studio habits and how I create.

Is your studio at home or a separate space?

I have a building behind my home that is my studio. Previous owners of this property built a photography studio attached to the garage. It’s about 500 square feet with higher than normal ceiling. A glorious sense of space. There is ample storage and it overlooks our back gardens. My quilt studio also includes my business, Shades of Gray, a graphic design studio. You can see the desk in the back of this shot that is the business end of the studio.

Typically, how many hours a day do you work in the studio?

I work from 8-5, Monday through Thursday in the studio on business projects. Fridays-Sunday I work on artwork for 4-5 hours a day. If I am going strong I can work for 2-3 hours in the evenings during the weekdays. So, I guess, on a good week I put in 32 hours of business work and between 15-20 hours on my artwork. Someday I would like to switch that proportion.

 Do you listen to music while you work?

Sometimes I listen to music or podcasts. Mostly I work in silence. Sounds can clutter my mind. When I do listen to music I usually use itunes to give me a variety of selections by using the DJ function. My music selections vary from classical to jazz to rock and alternative. So when the DJ function starts I may listen to some Mozart followed by Florence and the Machine followed by John Coltrane. It's an eclectic journey.

Do you watch television while you work?

rarely. In the evenings I may tune into a favorite show for background. It depends on what I am working on.

Do you answer the telephone while you are in your studio?

Yes, I do. Business takes presidence for now.

How often do you take breaks?

lunch, an afternoon bike ride or walk, dinner.

Do you have any over-use issues with your hands or any other body parts?

Yes, my neck and wrists are sore a lot. Since I do a lot of detail free-motion stitching on my sewing machine. The tension can mount up. I have to force myself to stop and stretch. I also wear an elbow pad made of sheepskin (fur included) that saves the nerves in my elbows from shooting pain to my hands. It helps.

If so, how do you manage them or compensate?

Stretch, rest, baths, rest, stretch.Advil.

How about you? Where do you create and how?