A studio is born

Oct 032009

When the publisher of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios put out a call for photos of artist studios to be shared as part of its Open Studios Event,  I knew it was time for my paper crafting studio to be born. Of course, the word studio, for the room in which I work, sounds a little high-brow, but according to the definition of the online Free Dictionary, a studio is an artist’s workroom, so what else would you call it?

My paper crafting studio, therefore, was born not even 12 hours ago. It blossomed from my son’s now vacant bedroom, thanks to the empty desk, bookshelves and chest of drawers he left behind when he graduated from college this past June, and relocated to Chicago. Unlike my sewing room (see First stitches, first steps), which is dedicated just to sewing, the challenge in using my son’s bedroom was to retain his bedroom as sleeping space for guests, yet still be able to use the room as paper crafting space. This is a challenge, I think, that many artists face when they work out of their home: carving work space from a room already being used for a different purpose. If you peek at the left corner of the photo below, for example, you’ll see part of the bed next to my desk.

On a positive note, that same bed can double as a photography staging area. The light from the window is a plus, especially since I can diffuse it with blinds (now pulled up out of sight). A view of the woods behind our house provides wonderful inspiration for future projects, since you will frequently see a family of deer feeding on our day lilies, a woodchuck that hugs the edge of our yard, bright red cardinals who swoop from branch to tree branch, and playful squirrels who scamper up the tree trunks and race across the neighbors’ lawns.

To the right of my desk is a single bookcase, crammed with paper and tools, including my Zutter Bind-it-All and Dreamkuts tools, Xyron 500 Create-a-Sticker machine and Crop-A-Dile gadget. There is nothing beautiful about the stacks of paper and boxes, except perhaps to me. They suggest possibilities which are far less probable when those same items are scattered across various rooms in the house, and in the basement. Even better is my husband’s satisfaction, now that the paper crafting madness is contained to one room, for the most part.

My husband was so thrilled with the prospect of reclaiming some of the basement shelves, in fact, that he mounted a few shelves in my new paper crafting studio.

The chest of drawers below the new shelves is perfect for some of my larger tools, which include a color laser printer, a Cricut Expression® cutting machine, and my Fiskars paper cutting board. Inside the drawers are more supplies, as well as some projects that are in progress. If there is one fact you can state with absolute certainty, it is that paper crafting takes up lots of space!

At the moment, my new studio is a work in progress, awaiting those touches that will reflect more of my personality. But I have begun by displaying a small collection of blown glass ornaments.

Last night’s relocation efforts have now become a reality, birthing a new work space. My next challenge? Find a way to store yarn efficiently! My husband says the master bedroom is off-limits.

© 2009 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved. 

Sep 292009

Cloth Paper Scissors Studios is announcing its fall 2009 event, an Open Studios Event in which all artists are invited to participate. Just visit the contest Web page here, and follow the rules. (You can also click on the image below, which will take you to the same page.)

The contest involves sharing photos or video of your studio, and describing what makes it special to you. Although you are not required to do so, you’ll definitely wish to purchase a copy of the fall issue in which the studios of more than 20 artists will be showcased, you’ll learn some wonderful storage and display tips, discover how to host an Open Studio Event, and gain valuable information about setting up a teaching studio. This is certain to be an interesting issue!

If you stop back here on October 3rd, you’ll see photos of my paper crafting space.

© 2009 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.