Before and After
I think you’ll agree that my studio has come a long way since our big move back in the depths of winter. When I spotted this house while casually browsing property websites (as you do when you’re not even planning on moving house) it was the massive outbuilding that caught my eye. There was a big ol’ house too, that was also important, and that has turned out to be a project of epic proportions, but we’ll go into that another day.
The outbuilding though, used to be a children’s nursery, and is Tardis like in its structure. From the front it looks like an unassuming garage sized building, but once inside it goes back, and back, and back again, until it opens out via patio doors onto the garden, and then uninterrupted countryside thereafter. And then it goes up too, yes that’s right, there is a loft!! We had no idea what we would do with such an epic ‘extra’ building, but could see it’s potential a mile off. I knew I could definitely fit a studio into one of the spaces, and we would come up with a plan for the rest thereafter (which we have, but again, a story for another day!).
So five days before Christmas we set off in the driving rain to move into our new house and ‘former’ nursery. I say ‘former’… but to our horror it was pretty much still a nursery, and it looked like they had let the kids in for one last riotous party before they closed the doors forever and never looked back. It was one of those laugh or cry (or have a breakdown) moments, so we did what we do, we rolled our sleeves up, cracked open a beer and got on with it. To cut a long story short, we befriended the local house clearance man, and five visits from him later we had ‘vacant possession’ of the property at last.
And now at last (I’m going to gloss over the lockdown period of nothingness) here is my new studio, before, complete with cubby holes, coat hooks, and even wellies (!), and after, with bespoke marine ply benches, oodles of storage, and my favourite, miles and miles of pegboard! Everything has it’s place now, from super organised drawers with jewellery components at the ‘dry’ end, to buckets of rainbow coloured pastel slip and mountains of moulds on the clay side.
I’m not the tidiest worker as anyone who has ever shared a studio with me will tell you (you know who you are!), so it really helps me to compartmentalise, and have a place for everything. If you ask me you absolutely can’t beat peg board for a versatile storage solution that looks bloody brilliant too. I arranged everything beautifully to begin with, then as soon as I sat down to work it became apparent what was in the wrong place. In a flash I can move everything again so that just the right tools are in reach at the right parts of my desk; pliers and vices right above my benchpeg, tweezers and binging wire next to the soldering station, and hammers and mandrels by the big bashing log (I’m sure thats a technical jewellery term). Big drawers have been a revelation to me this time round. All my porcelain components are neatly arranged by colour for easy access, but tucked away in a drawer they don’t take up working space on the bench, and whenever you place an order I get to delve in there and find the colours you’ve chosen. Tools that would have been lost at the back of shelves are easily accessible and quick to find. There are tiny drawers too of course, I’ve always been a fan of these, finished off nicely with my vintage Dymo label writer, no studio should be without one!
Now, with my working space up and running, the tool wall arranged, rearranged and rearranged again, its time to turn our attention to the rest of the space. It’s crawling with tradesmen as I speak, but we’re not quite ready to share our big plans with you just yet, but in the meantime do you want a sneak peek of how it looked the day we moved in? Oh go on then!