Archive | Studio

Decluttering the printing surface

the piles of junk on my worktable - before pic

Ick! What a mess!

I thought I’d share a few pics of my workroom.  This is what my printing table normally looks like.   As though an art supply shop had vomited all over it.  With some haberdashery chucked in for good measure.

messy worktable

Hmm, a bit messy, eh?

Every so often I have to have a good clear out or it gets too much to create anything there, it seems to mess up my head as well.

stripped back to the bare bones

One afternoon I decided to clear everything off and put the dropcloth in the washing machine.  This is what the print table looks like underneath all that clutter.  Wow, wish it looked like this all the time!

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I have a large piece of MDF laid on top of the table, and a piece of carpet underlay over that, which creates the soft surface for printing.

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Here is the table with a clean dropcloth on top, bearing the dyeing marks from a previous printing session or ten!

Wish I could say it still looks like that now, but unfortunately it is more like the top photo again… that clean table top lasted less than a day.  But it definitely unleashed some creativity…

12 things x 12… a bit late!

I got so inspired seeing all the Facebook pictures of 12 things to celebrate the 12th of the 12th 2012 yesterday that I decided to do my own … pity I was a day late but never mind!  I had so much fun finding groups of 12s in my studio and rediscovering a lot of nice arty things I’d almost forgotten I had, that I went mad and did more than 12 so you’ll be seeing some of them here in the future… 

12 black pens

1.  12 black pens for making gocco/thermofax masters for screens with.

12 inks

2.  12 inks.

12 beads

3.  12 round beads.

12 handmade beads

4.  12 hand made beads.

12 buttons

5.  12 brown buttons.

12 reels of vintage thread

6.  12 reels of vintage Sylko thread.

12 thread labels

7.  12 thread labels.

12 glass pins

8.  12 glass headed pins.

12 stamps made from fun foam

9.  12 stamps made from fun foam stuck on card.

12 carved stamps from erasers 

10.  12 stamps carved from erasers or that pink rubbery stuff.

12 print gocco ink tubes

11.  12 Print Gocco ink tubes.

12 wooden printing blocks.

12.  12 wooden printing blocks.

A tour of my studio

I rearranged my studio a few months ago and thought I would take a few photos and post them … it is perennially untidy and disorganised and I still can’t remember the new places I stored everything but hopefully it will stay this way for a year or two at least.  I do seem to enjoy moving my stuff around as much as I do using it!

This is my printing table, with a large (8’ by 4’ I think) piece of MDF on top to make it big enough to screen pieces of fabric without having to keep moving them along.  It is comparatively uncluttered in this photo, believe it or not – you should see it at the moment!  The MDF is actually resting on two tables at right angles to each other and my sewing machine is on the other half of the second.  There are quite a few things stored underneath the tables too! 

studio - printing table

I keep lots of stuff on these shelves and in the ‘column’ which my husband acquired from his office when they changed their filing system.  It holds lots of sewing and knitting equipment – knitting needles, patterns, thread, needles, zips, ribbon… those shallow drawers are quite useful for small items.  I have printing and stamping stuff on the open shelves and an assortment of stuff in the filing cabinet – electrical things like heat gun and soldering iron in one drawer, skeins of yarn in another.

column with drawers in studio

These wooden shelves run the length of the room – my books are at one end, brushes and mark making equipment at the other and fabric in the middle… 

bookshelves brushes and mark making stuff on shelves

Here is some of the fabric (a small part) all rolled up so I can see it end on. 

rolls of fabric on shelves

My design wall is in front of these shelves and it is on wheels so I can move it to get to them.

design wall

All my paper and gocco accessories are in these stacking baskets in the corner of the room.  And by the window, more stacking baskets with paint and stuff like that – of course, they always overflow on to the floor as well!

stacking baskets with gocco equipment stacking baskets with paints etc

African fabric and nappy liners!

There are still more fabric bundles waiting to be snapped up! And here are a few extras for the next 2 or 3 people to buy them…

I found a load of nappy liners which I bought to do cool melting and burning stuff… you can stitch into them and colour them and heat them and they distress nicely.

I’ve also got lots of African dutch wax prints fabrics – if you buy a fabric bundle I’ll put some of them in – they are good size pieces (half a yard, a yard etc…).

My studio is looking very different now – I’ve moved the tables round and my design wall and I can get around a lot more in there! I don’t feel quite so hemmed in. I was hoping that it might be possible to put a kitchen type sink in there but it looks like that is impractical so I’ll just have to keep running to the bathroom if I want to rinse things out:(

Pics soon… and I haven’t forgotten the report on my week at C2C!

Collages continued

I layered the collages a bit more yesterday – I worked fairly quickly and improvisationally because I was sitting there umming and ahhing and not actually glueing anything down so I decided just to get on with it and then see what I thought of them!

Here’s the blue one – I wanted to do something with leaves as I am so drawn to them at the moment.

collage with leaves

I may add more or do something else to this one.  Not sure yet.

This is the one with the brown background.  I like this better in the photo than I did yesterday looking at the original!

brown collage

This is as far as I have got with the green one but it isn’t finished yet…

green and yellow collage

I also made another background.  This uses some of the mulberry paper as well.

another collage

In the latest studio reorganisation I turned my table 90 degrees and put all the paints and related stuff into an old vegetable rack.   I like this.

cluttered table and paint rack

You can see how much clutter there is on the ‘collage table’ at the moment!  Plenty of stuff to keep me going for a while!

And of course moving the paints left some shelves free for my ‘inspiration’ files and notebooks…

shelves in studio

Wall tidy

I thought I’d put a picture of the only thing I’ve sewn in the last few weeks (apart from turning up the hems on umpteen pairs of trousers and mending DS2’s coat).

It is another sample for the ladies of the sewing studio in Zambia for Health Help International.  Ron is there now and took it with him.  It is one of those wall tidies which you can hang on the wall and use to store small items in pockets. 

wall tidy made from Dutch wax prints with elephant motif

I have been busy this week, tidying and organising my studio yet again (well, I prefer to think of it as continuing the tidying rather than reorganising everything Yet Again….).   Instead of organising my cotton fabrics by colour, I decided to do it by value.  Reading Lisa Call’s blog inspired me.    I ironed them all and folded them into approximately the same size.  Sorting them was relatively easy after that.    Looking at them, I have come to the conclusion that I have far too many in medium values and not enough at either end.  

After that I was energised (inspired, no doubt, by all the fabrics I had forgotten I had!) into sorting all the other sorts of fabrics, which previously I had organised by colour, into each type of fabric… the rusted fabrics have a container to themselves.  I enjoyed stroking the silks and rediscovering the shiny fabrics, the velvets, the scrims, the sheers….  now I just need to use them in something and not just return them to the shelves….

Photos to follow….

Studio reorganisation

In my head, anyway….

I spent a long time this morning looking at the Fiberarts Magazine studio competition photos – PamDora is a finalist in the Best Stash section.  Then I thought about what my studio looks like…

Unfortunately, the work table (where I do my designing and cutting etc) looks like this at the moment:

table covered in damp newspaper

It has been raining for about 5 days solidly and we have a leaky wall above it (or a leak in the roof of the bay window).  The wall on that side faces west where the prevailing winds come from, and when they blow strongly the wet comes through.  It needs a special waterproofing paint on there about every 8 years – unfortunately we can’t do this now till the summer and it all dries out.  Hopefully.  Meanwhile, this is my work area:

pink carpet with melted iron shape on it

A pink bedroom carpet (it used to be a bedroom).  And yes, that is a melted iron shape on it.  Needs hoovering too….

I stress about my studio about once a year, when everyone else is making goals for the coming year and assessing what they did in the previous one:

This morning, I sat down and sorted out what uses I made of my studio, and the various areas I need in it…

Storage areas:

  • Fabric, papers, threads, beads, etc etc
  • Equipment
  • Paints etc
  • Works in progress
  • Notebooks, inspiration sources etc
  • Completed quilts etc

Work areas:

  • Sewing area
  • Pressing area
  • Designing/cutting area
  • Wet area (at the moment this is either the kitchen or the floor!)

Admin areas:

  • Framing and finishing
  • Catalogues, invoices and other stuff
  • Information, entries to competitions
  • And all the stuff on my computer!

I’m glad I’ve sorted all that out because at the moment all the areas are too mixed up and some things just don’t have anywhere to live…I’ve got quite a big room (about 15 foot square) but I need to work out how to make it work.  And I need a design wall.  Or something.  At the moment it is a floor!  Still – just shows you can do anything anywhere…

Still a way to go yet though…

PS.  I really like Live Writer!

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