frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Transformation of my Wretched Studio Space

Kim says thank you for permission to throw out her own fabric scraps and thread trash, as I related in my previous post. You're welcome. Here is the dilemma. We throw away too much. Recycling is a noble act. At the same time, if we save everything, not throwing away because the item is perfectly good, we will be consumed by crap. I've gotten to know a number of annual and bi-annual rummage sales in my area and I give the "perfectly good" stuff to them. They'll make a couple of bucks and I am relieved of the item and the guilt of throwing it away. Some things are more tricky. I burn a lot of candles. What do I do with the stubs? I could save them in a bucket, melt them down and make more candles. I even have molds from my candle-making days. But seriously, when am I going to make candles? And, will they be any good? Maybe if I was unemployed this would make sense. Also, I read about a project where someone was making tote bags out of the material that encases a brick of coffee. I thought, now that is cool. I was saving the coffee brick wrappers for a while. One day my husband asked me why I was saving them. As I began to explain it to him, I realized how crazy it was. At least, for me. This is also part of the ADD thing I have going on. I have so little spare time, Should I spend it sewing together trash? Maybe I will someday, but not now. I try to remain focused. I try.

My studio is in our cellar. Our house is very old, and the cellar is made of stones. It is extremely damp and very cold this time of year. There is virtually no natural light, because my evergy-nazi husband has blocked the tiny windows with insulation. Most people I am sure would consider this intolerable, but this is my space and I make the best of it. There is an on-going project to finish our attic and make my studio up there. I expect this to take another year.

So, in my recent switch over to more mixed media than art quilts (Which is not a big leap, really) I began rummaging around the studio and then reorganizing. I had my sewing machine on an old kitchen table, and a storage "thing" on top of a desk where I was supposed to do other work. The space left on the desk was small and usually cluttered with  stuff. So, I decided to switch the sewing machine to the desk. I really like the new space I made for myself on the table. But the desk really is too small for the sewing machine, too. It's OK, because I see now that what I need for the future attic space is two tables, not a table and a desk..

Joe, my husband, has been actively working on the space lately. I go up there to help him when it is feasable, and we have discussions about what I need. He is going to replace the crappy windows up there and cut a skylight into the roof. We have talked about the placement of my different workstations, what kind of outlets and storage are possible. Of course, in an attic, the biggest challenge is the lack of straight walls. As a joke, I asked him if I could get a sink up there, but he said it was possible! Like a little stainless steel prison sink. Ijust want a water source. Joe is also going to install electric baseboard heat up there, and we were in Home Depot talking to someone about the gage of wire that was required. The man at the Depot asked how big the space was, and ha ha, we didn't know! I need to go up there and measure it. I want to sketch up a floor plan and make little furniture pieces and move them around. Maybe I will get to do that tomorrow, as we are expecting a wicked ice storm around here and maybe we will get another weather day off!

1 comment:

Kim Hambric said...

I hope your attic studio isn't too far off. I would love to have a sink in mine. I'm sure it is possible, but . . . at least I get exercise when I come down to wash off brushes and stamps. Mine is pretty much unfinished. There is a floor and a radiator. And we did update some of the wiring so I can use an iron. I like being up high!! And no, I don't have straight walls, but I added some flannel covered boards and use the space behind them for storage.

I do throw away only small scraps. I am able to donate a lot of unwanted fabric at my daughter's school. I hate to be wasteful, but I also figure that a half-decent mind is a terrible thing to waste, too. My sanity will win out over a pile of scraps and threads any day!

I'm still laughing over the energy-nazi line. Joe sounds like a great guy, though!