Several people have asked questions about the new studio, both in comments on my posts and in person. I’ve had a go at answering them — also in comments and in person — but since the same questions keep cropping up I thought I’d gather a few answers together.
How big is the studio?
In person I tend to answer “six-and-a-half metres square” but a very slightly more accurate answer would be 6.4 m x 6.8 m. In old money that’s about 21 feet by 22-and-a-bit feet.
Is it new?
Yes and no. The studio is a new room and I am its first tenant. The building is Victorian and WASPS have had studios here for 30 years, but only on floors two and three. The fourth floor was converted to studios during a big refurbishment project which was finished earlier this year — mine is one of these new spaces. Having said that, the second and third floors have been quite radically 0verhauled, so really all those studios are new too.
Are those floors made of stone?
Another yes and no. The floor is a patchwork of stone in some places and concrete in others. There are also the stumps of sawn-off screws sticking up in places — not to a dangerous degree, I hasten to add — and these are where the old power looms were bolted to the floor. I rather like the idea that my looms will be sitting over the shadows of their industrial cousins. We painted the floor to make it easier to keep clean: the concrete in particular generates a lot of dust and you definitely wouldn’t have wanted to drop a nice silk scarf on any of it.
So, will the Open Studios be here now?
No. Next week’s Open Studios are a Perthshire event and neither my old nor my new studio is in Perthshire! The plan is still what it has been all along: that I will be moving my weaving down the road to my mother’s for the duration of the Open Studios. All the details are in this blog post. There are regular Open Studios events in WASPS buildings too, though, so those are in my future.
You’re not going to move both your looms are you?
Yes I am. It would be cruel to separate them. And anyway I only have one bench…