09 March 2012

Where Things Shall Be Made

 Folding Card, The Old Woman Who Lived in A Shoe
 6 April 1883. Noel Wisdom
Image source

I come from a large family and the old farm house we grew up in, while large-of-room, was also limited in its number of bedrooms.  So I spent most of of younger years sharing space with several of my sisters while my brothers shared other rooms.  For a time the only space I had for my own things was under my bed.  While there were downsides to the arrangement (at some point I was shifted to the top bunk and there went my place for things), it meant that I got to be up close when my many creative siblings were making stuff.  

It's a powerful thing to have a space to create - the room of one's own notion.  I can only dream of having a studio like American painter John Singer Sargent. 

John Singer Sargent in his studio.

But, like many art making people of the current era, the making must be a part-time endeavor with part-time space allotted for it. So I feel very fortunate that I've been able to pull together two spaces in our rather contained flat for my creative work.

One of our main floor bedrooms has served triple duty as a work area, writing studio, and, occasionally, as a guest bedroom.  With the addition of the drafting table I first posted about in early February, I finally have a place for drawing the larger-scale works I've been percolating on for some time.

And in the basement, I've managed to carve out a space for more craft-oriented makings.  The desk is a fine piece of golden oak with the added bonus of a spring-loaded typewriter desk.  The side trestle table currently holds the found clocks, boxes, and other miscellany that I am redesigning/repurposing as an entrepreneurial extension of last summer's wizarding theater project.

I shall continue to daydream of a someday studio like Sargent's - with tall ceilings and much open space.  Until then, these two areas are the locales for imagination and creation.


  1. Yeah, I am totally jazzed! I've never had seriously spacious space to do artsy stuff before!

  2. I suddenly feel happier about our cluttered maker spaces. Keeping horizontal space open is a challenge.

    I love those old desks with the typewriter stowage area. No room for now, but I can dream.

    I think I spy Worf in ceremonial garb in one of your photos :-)

    When you get a chance, look up Monet's studio photos. He even had pulley systems to raise and lower huge canvasses to a good working height.

  3. Yeppers, that is Commander Worf. He handles all the security issues here. ;-) Thanks for the Monet note - will certainly check on that. As for the clutter . . . I actually prefer open spaces to work but I have to deal with the fact we have no real storage space here . . . so stuff gets piled up.

  4. Both areas look like good spaces for creating. I especially like the drawing table.

    Space is in extremely short supply here at House Full of Nerds and I'm jealous of my friends who have sewing or craft rooms. Then again, I don't sew and I do like our house payment!

  5. The Borco covering on the drawing table still has some wrinkles in it! This weekend I will be laying a bunch of books on it in hopes of flattening out for drawing. Brother Architect assures me it DOES flatten eventually.

  6. You've done a nice job with those spaces. I would love to have even that much. I long for a big old house like I first had or one like in my childhood.

  7. Thanks, Bill. Although the spaces are cluttered and doing double & triple duty on occasion, it all seems quite luxurious! Reminds me of the kitchen we had in Pittsburgh where Beloved Spousal Unit and I had only a 14x18 space to do all our meal and cooking prep. Now we have a similar a 14x18 space AND entire counter!

  8. p.s. That's 14x18 inches of counter space!

  9. It's a small world, so you gotta use your elbows a lot...to carve out the space you need. I like that your spaces feature a good mix of empty space (the desk, the drafting table) and lots of books around for inspiration.

  10. Thx, Lurid. The books are essential! (And what you don't see are the books under the blue denim fabric behind the oak chair or in the closet (with the bulletin boards on the doors).


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