the studio evolves

It’s amazing what you can do with a big white room. First we got the floor looms and the yarn in, set up the warping boards etc etc and made it all weave-friendly. Then we moved in the table looms and, after much rearrangement, got them organised for workshops. The next evolutionary step is necessary because I am going to start selling some work online again. More on this later: the crucial point is that I am joining a curated craft website — which I hope will be a good shop window for scarves, wraps and other largeish items — and that this website has very clear directions regarding product photography. I have put off doing this properly for quite a while, but the new space makes it a lot easier.

We bought three things: a roll of backdrop paper (from an online photography supplies store), a length of copper pipe and a pair of wooden brackets intended for curtain poles (both from B & Q). The wooden brackets are now fixed to the wall of the studio. The copper pipe resides in the centre of the paper roll and both live happily together in their cardboard box. When required, they can easily be slid from the box and lifted in and out of the wooden brackets. Stuart has bestowed upon me a selection of clamps which he doesn’t much like as he finds them too small. When the pipe is in situ and the clamps are applied we have this:

photo wall bracket

Below the paper roll our old wallpaper pasting table (which last saw wallpapering action in the twentieth century) makes a suitable surface. And there is no shortage of material on hand for weighting down the paper.

photo wall

The whole thing is nearly three metres wide, so the middly bit between the cones is more than ample for photographing scarves. When Pat was visiting, she was very keen for me to use this wall as my design wall — and what I like about this arrangement is that I can do both. The backdrop paper will cover up anything I put here.

While some technical processes hold no fear for me whatsoever, I must admit that the operation of a camera — a ‘proper’ camera, with its f-stops and whatnot — does make me glaze over. It is therefore a great relief to me that Stuart is willing to make textile photography his new hobby. (Fortunately he has a PhD in physics, giving him an instant advantage over me when it comes to remembering What Stuff Means.) So as well as the muscle, he is now also the brains of this outfit, which leaves me primping scarves, making the tea and handing round the biscuits.

Anyway, for a man who has only had a camera for a month, I reckon he is doing not-bad-at-all.

folded scarf

the studio evolves” was posted by Cally on 17 Feb 2013 at

Creative Commons License

10 Responses

  1. Dorothy
    | Reply

    Hi Cally – good luck with Seek and Adore, I have heard very good reports about it and Helen Chatterton says she has had very good results there.
    The photography is a bit of a mystery to me too but I was given a white sort of tent thing for Christmas for taking photos and I have seen a big improvement. Not sure about the ‘proper’ camera with the f settings but point and shoot will do me for now !

    Sturat has certainly done well with his new hobby !

    keep us posted on how things go with Seek and Adore

    Best wishes


    • Cally
      | Reply

      Thanks, Dorothy. I spent a long time dithering about where to apply, but had to take the plunge eventually! I’m setting up my page at the moment and hope to launch it in a week or so.

  2. Margreet
    | Reply

    oh, that last photo shows your scarf really beautiful, well done Stuart!

  3. Laurie
    | Reply

    Cally – I’m looking forward to seeing your work on the new site. Your scarf and Stuart’s photo are beautiful – very inspiring, indeed.

  4. Pat Foster
    | Reply

    The photography set- up is very interesting. I wonder if I could do something in the garage? I am attending a photography class at this moment and have discovered loads of facilities on my camera.! Moral – read the manual though whether that’s actually any good until you know what the words mean – – – -. But you are off to a wodnerful start.

  5. Isabella
    | Reply

    Ooh Cally….I have white-wall-backdrop-paper-copper-tube-wooden-bracket envy and the photo take by Maestro Stuart is excellent.
    Your post reminds me of when I used to work in a photography studio and backdrop papers were weighed down with paper-wrapped bricks. They were wrapped because backdrop paper is super expensive and it was important to avoid getting it dirty. The trouble was that people visiting the studio found inviting, heavy oblong objects wrapped like jolly presents and displayed overwhelming (and quite endearing) human curiosity at what might be inside. So they would habitually pick them open to see. Exasperated photographer had to label each package with THIS IS A BRICK.
    Good luck with the online retail. I am going to inspect it to ensure it is worthy of you.

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Haha! Guess my yarn is self-explanatory at least. And we didn’t spend that much on the paper either. Cheapskates!

  6. Michelle
    | Reply

    Cally, so many people struggle to take good photos of their work, and you have shared in detail how you do it. It is so generous of you, and of course helpful for others. How good you are! I can’t add to the plaudits for the photo shown, as it is sooooo good.

    • Cally
      | Reply

      I’d happily share more if I understood it! I can cope with the furniture — the white balance not so much…

  7. neki rivera
    | Reply

    photo looks great. and i sincerely envy the clamps.

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