getting out of the house

When I reported on our visit to the Meadow Mill studios in May, I said that I would love to have a studio there but that there were several reasons why it wouldn’t be feasible. It’s two months on and, amazingly, those reasons have almost all been overturned. And so from Monday I will be a tenant of studio 412!

A significant issue — the budget — is still a significant issue, but we’ve worked out a plan and will just have to monitor carefully. Most of the studios in the building are too small for my looms, never mind all the other stuff as well, so in order to be there I am having to rent a double-sized space which is distinctly on the large side! I’m extremely nervous about taking on such a big commitment but there is a very important driver: I need to get out of the house. It’s not that I don’t have a fabulous room to work in at home: as you know, I have a lovely space (and┬áreally don’t mind squeezing myself round the end of the Delta to get to the warping board). However, throughout the PhD process I have been mainly based at home, and since teaching finished in April I have been home alone with my looms and the interminable thesis almost every working day, and am steadily turning into a Very Peculiar Person. (I hasten to add that the Ps are lovely company but do tend to exacerbate the crazy-lady tendency, not mitigate it!)

I don’t miss the old pre-PhD day job but I find I do need to say good morning to someone, pass someone in the corridor when I go to make a cup of tea or chat for a few minutes on the stairs. In some respects this might seem a bit odd. On the introvert-extravert scale, I am at the very extreme end of introvert, so I am entirely happy in my own space and working on my own thing. But the catch is that once I am in that space I do find it quite hard to get out again, and that’s where a shared working environment is such a help: it forces me out of my shell. With my own studio in a building full of studios, I’m hoping WASPS will help to keep me normal. Well, as normal as possible.

There’s an interesting complication with 412 which makes it difficult to photograph. WASPS originally planned to let it as a group space and so have furnished it with large shelving units which divide up the room. Shelves are great, I’m sure you’ll agree, but these are designed to be in the middle of the room, which is not ideal — although it is workable, so I have a Plan B. The intention is to have a go at moving them into storage on Monday, thus enabling Plan A, and we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out. In the meantime, here’s Stuart surveying the premises with the eye of a man who knows his free evenings are doomed for the foreseeable future.

Why, yes, that’s one of the shelving units on the left. The outside of the building can be seen here. And don’t worry about not seeing the studio properly just yet. You’ll be sick of it by the time I’ve got it all sorted.

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on the mount board question. There’s very strong support for the dark brown, and I’m inclined towards it too. I decided I had better mount all the other samplers first, though, so that I can try them out on the different boards. Incidentally, I reckon it is not just the camera which flattens out the gold. It looks much better when it is not behind glass. More on this to follow!

getting out of the house” was posted by Cally on 4 August 2012 at

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12 Responses

  1. Alison Yule
    | Reply

    Congratulations, Cally. I’m sure it will work beautifully! Good luck.

  2. Margreet
    | Reply

    Cally, great news. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about your move into your studio.

  3. Meg in Nelson
    | Reply

    Congrats, Cally; Commiz, Stuart. Cally, I thought he was looking at the shelvings which he was single-handedly, automagically and instantly be moving for you.

    I’ve watched the Craft in America vids at least once and am in the process of watching it the second time with Ben this time. I’ve been thinking about what they say about Communities. For me for now, I love sinking into my cocoon every time. (Besides there are only private residences within 15-20 min walk around me, up and down these hills…)

    Enjoy the setting up and the move.

  4. Charlotte Engstad
    | Reply

    Congratulations, that’s lovely!

  5. Marei Montalvo
    | Reply

    Congratulations on the studio space. I know what you mean about needing to have some interaction with others. And I think separating your weaving from your PhD “study space” will be wonderful. I used to rent weavng space and totally loved it and got so much accomplished.

  6. Alice in Richmond
    | Reply

    Good for you Cally! Congratulations! I am at the far end of introvert as well and I know exactly what you mean.

  7. Belinda Rose
    | Reply

    Fantastic news Cally, well done, grasping the nettle!

  8. Judy
    | Reply

    Congratulations Cally! A commitment, but opening yourself to wonderful opportunities.

  9. Lisa
    | Reply

    Hey Cally,
    I loved your post. Congratulations on the studio – it looks wonderful – stone floors?

  10. Cally
    | Reply

    Thanks everyone! I’ve just had a text to say that one of the shelves has been moved successfully, and I’ll be going down to join the fun shortly (having just survived the annual cat vaccination trauma).

    Lisa, yes, some of the floor is stone – and rather nice too. But it’s old and quite a few areas are patched with concrete (like the bit where S is standing). After much discussion and comparison with other studios, I think we’re going to paint it. It will be interesting to see how steady the looms are!

  11. Martha
    | Reply

    Cally, Absolutely smashing studio space! I am soooooo jealous. Enjoy each and every process you must go through to make your new studio everything you want it to be. Congratulations

  12. neki rivera
    | Reply

    great news! i can hear you as isolation has turned me into a VPP too.sometimes i wish i could have a separate studio , but my cop out is that i also dye a lot.
    you’re going to love your new studio.

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