I was alerted to International Desk Day by Margaret Cooter /http://margaret-cooter.blogspot.co.uk who in turn referred her readers to Jackie Morris.http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog Jackie has collected photos of a lot of studios and desks. Some of them are artists, others are writers and publishers. It is interesting to see inside people's working set-ups and to realise that many of them are not working in purpose designed rooms with amazing shelving and well chosen furniture. To see these rooms you need to go to the posting Jackie did on 7 January so scroll down until you find it.
Some time ago Margaret Cooter did a major makeover of her workroom so I enjoyed seeing her new photos. I also decided I could rush round the house with my camera and join in. I am one of those people who works all over the house. I know it is not ideal but when we moved here we had a garage that we needed to turn into a utility room and we knew it could also be a studio. Given that we had to get planning permission, it took over two years to achieve this and in the mean time I got used to working in my bedroom. I know many people think bedrooms should be kept as bedrooms but I don't think I have ever grown out of being a teenager and it does not worry me that I have a room full of fabric and books kept in two large bookcases. The only problem is Siamese cats who like climbing and extracting things to play with from the baskets and jars. I have to remember to tidy everything away before I go to bed or I can be woken by games using what they have found.
To get to the studio I have to go out of the house and across the yard which I have discovered can be a problem in the rain. I use the studio for wet work and machining but as you can see from this photo this room has to serve a number of other functions as the house is very short of storage space.
The sewing machine lives on the kitchen table from our last house and my husband built a bench along the back wall. The wall to the right has two sinks which is wonderful and a vast improvement on carrying water from the bathroom. But the room is not very big from front to back so I do have some problems.
Here you can see how a muddle comes about! In the far corner is my husband's corner where he keeps DIY tools. The shelves at the back hold a lot of general household stuff as well as paints, dyes etc. The bench is set up for cutting at one end and ironing at the other and underneath it are large underbed storage bins full of wadding, fabric I will probably never use and an assortment of things that might just one day come in handy. The white board is foamboard which is very light and can be propped up on the bench when I am assembling items. In the front is a set of Elfa shelving that I have had for ever. I keep paper, writing and drawing tools and a variety of other tools in them and wish I could afford to buy a second set but they are very expensive.
The International Desk Day instruction said not to tidy the room before taking the photos so I didn't but I was surprised that both my rooms were not in as much of a mess as usual. I decided there were two main reasons for this. I have not done much work lately and I completed the quilt top I was working on in the studio and took it into the house a few days ago so that meant the bench is not covered in 'work in progress'. Then in late November we came very near to being flooded so I rushed out and took as much as I could out of the studio and into the house. I was acutely aware of what would happen if we were flooded and I lost everything as in 1999 I had to start again after all my textile things went up in smoke in a house fire.
Which brings us back to the bedroom.
I can't believe the table is this tidy! I recently discovered condensation marks on the wall to the left so I emptied the two little bookcases. I haven't decided how to solve the problem yet but air seemed a good idea. Under the table is a small Bernina which I bought last year so that if it was very wet I could sew inside. The large bookcase now has to hold the books that were in the little bookcases including a lot of my books related to New Zealand (which I would hate to lose), my Persephone books and my sketchbooks as well as everything that was already there. Some stuff is on its way to the charity shop.
The table is currently set up for the drawing project I am trying to do as a New Years resolution.
I am supposed to be drawing the vase of daffodils as a still life from nature. On the left of the table is the book I am using for this project, 'One Drawing a Day' by Veronica Lawlor, together with some other books on drawing that I found I had, some inks because the book tells me to use them and my trusty iPad. Also an internet radio which will not work in this room despite having a booster. I think it is probably because the house is built of granite. (It was once a barn of sorts.) In the middle of the table is the quilt top I have been working on. The black plastic stand on the right hand end of the table is a set of small drawers for DIY things. It holds all the really small stuff and has had to be moved off the little bookcase. In front of it stands the first drawing I did for the project a week ago and which will appear on my blog but possibly not until I have another one or two to show. The idea is to do a drawing a day which sounds easy but I am not managing it at the moment!
And if you are wondering where my computer is, it lives in yet another room along with the printer.