This is the smaller of the two spaces I work in, being a conversion of a small single garage, completed in summer 2013. The previous owners had partitioned the back into a tiny office leaving a garage you could not fit a car into. Come and have a look around – excuse the drawn blinds – that’s just because I didn’t want to identify my road online.
The door on the left leads to the internal hall way of the house. That on the right leads to the side of the house so I have access to the washing line in the garden This wall is our family laundry area with the stool/bin holding ironing to be done. It is far enough away from the working area that I can still safely air clothes and paint if I want to. The blue bag is a roll of PFD fabric from Whaleys of Bradford. ( Delphina cotton if you need details, which I suspect you do!)
The microwave is left over from the old house and is simply lurking at present. On the windowsill behind it is a book storage area with my surface design books to hand. The rack is a magazine rack meant to hang on a wall but it wedges right under the window handle in a pleasing way! You see the clothes iron and surface design iron also.
Surface design books
Then comes the print surface. Kitchen units underneath house a washing machine ( there is another in the kitchen), fridge for dyes only, freezer as overspill from the kitchen when I have bake fests, a double cupboard with encaustic and soy waxing supplies and one with dropcloths and painting clothes.
The surface is MDF board wrapped in two layers of acrylic felt or wadding – I can’t recall now – and black cotton drill cloth. A drop cloth goes on top when I am painting or dying. The work surface is a breakfast bar width. I would have liked to be able to walk around my print surface but the room is too small so the compromise was to have an overhang. The Con is I have to bob underneath to use the cupboards which is not a major problem, but the pro is that I can bring in a bar stool from the kitchen to sit and paint if I want to. Mostly I work standing up in here.
The fan is for encaustic and is a bit odd but that’s a tale for another post! I also plan to add some black glass magnetic notice boards on the wall.
At the far end; hake brushes, screens ready for breakdown printing and plastic drawers of stamping materials.
The sink unit has boxes, bags and trays for dyeing. Behind that left open door is a very awkward to get into cupboard that uses the whole corner space that has bulk cartons of soda ash and urea and, until we get a decent shed, my husband’s stash of bird seed and fat balls! So far he has not mistakenly fed the birds chemicals!
The other corner cupboards is shelfless to house large screens.
The other wall is all storage and is slightly narrower than a usual run of kitchen units – basically we cut the void off the back but otherwise they are fill depth, which allowed us to retain the drawers.
Drawers hold tools, gloves, art materials, papers, fabrics, spare kitchen roll, tapes, hot guns, soy wax and the like.
I love having these open shelves so I can simply turn from the print surface and grab what I need. The odd thing on the bottom is a tepanyaki plate for encaustic. Also a tale for another post!
- Tool shelves
I do have a first world problem in that I can’t quite decide whether sketchbook work and equipment goes in the upstairs studio or this one. For now its mostly down here.
One huge problem we had when designing this space is that it houses the metres for gas and electricity on this wall. We looked at moving them but it was going to cost £1000 each to put them in a box outside. So, we simply hid them in the two long cupboards. But the one on the right only has a high electricity meter so we were able to put that under a flap inside the cupboard and still use much of the space for dyes and screen inks.
Dye and ink cabinet
Underneath that is a cupboard in which I have inserted a set of plastic Really Useful drawers which hold all my acrylic and textile paints. These are great because you can put the whole drawer out and use it as a tray to carry the paint collections to the print surface.
This is the long view looking down from the doorways. I should say for anyone in the UK, the units are black and cream gloss from Howdens. The colours match the kitchen down the hall where we have a different cream gloss design with the same black tiles and the same worktop but with thinner striping and rounded edge. I have the same black gloss units in the other studio. Matching makes me happy!
And this what it looked like before I tidied up today! Of course the whole point is that I get to leave things out and its right by the lounge so I can literally go in and play in the commercial break in TV programmes! I tend to tidy up between projects.
Of course, guests are welcome to visit and play!