Friday 25 October 2013

New Studio - hurray!

October music - listen here
I am now the happy occupier of Studio 11 in the North Wing
of Seale-Hayne in Devon.

Everything is pretty well worn and in need of TLC but that's OK because I always love a challenge and this is pure delight. I am not actually in the main building but in one of the small rooms that run alongside of the North Wing. They used to be used for storage and as mail rooms I believe. This place has a history! I have a white painted brick walls and a very large pin-board.
My window faces north and is ideal in terms of light but not so sure about its capacity for ventilation. I will see next summer. I have a feeling it will be fine as all the doors are generally left open for wheel chair access so there will be a through breeze I imagine. I shall see if I can sow wild flower seeds on the grassy bank.
I now have an enormous radiator and a section of the old Victorian pipes that convey hot water from room to room. There is a 'drying room' where all the pipes do a convoluted dance around the walls to provide enough hot air to dry things - wet overalls from children's adventure camps and hopefully papier-mâché.
Being an ex-mailing room, I now am the proud possessor of a fantastic range of shelves. Thank goodness everything is painted white to start of with. It really only needs sprucing up and it will be fine. I shall more than likely separate a section that will be for Bella as she will come to the studio with me on most days. She loves warmth and will curl up and sleep. Dogs actually do need a lot more sleep than we imagine. At this stage I am thinking that I will paint the radiator but I am so keen to start making and painting for my work that I fear that thought will dissolve into nothingness quite soon.
My front door, also waiting to be painted - and it will always be open to visitors - or nearly always open at least. When I am working with resin it will have to be closed and that means fairly frequently in fact as I will try to develop a routine of sorts whereby I am dividing my time between the various processes that are involved. I have 4 quite distinct ranges of jewellery at present, 3 of which involve resin plus in my mind I am imagining a 5th that is entirely made of resin as I want to make rough cut diamonds and other precious and semi-precious faux stones to sit alongside the papier-mâché pearls.
Manifestations of art and affection.
I now finally have the opportunity to 'rationalise' all of my bits and bobs etc into the plastic boxes that I've been gradually buying and filling and that believe it or not that all fit in. Serendipity at play once again. the door has had a couple of coats of paint too. As I move in so the space is rapidly decreasing.
I've put a very temporary table in - it's looking rather like a school Nature Table. I've brought in a large bunch of lilies to counter-act the smell of paint and to inspire the senses. I've yet to make a trip over to the barn and retrieve some of my studio paraphernalia that has been stored along with all my other belongings since the beginning of the year.
There is alas only room for one work bench but my rationalised boxing system will come in useful from now on. My usual working method is to focus on work and leave tidying up until I reach some kind of critical fever pitch. I have absolutely no objection to creative chaos. Others tend to look on aghast long before I start to tidy up.
Pinning work in progress, at least that's the idea right now but it's a pin-board, a reference point and I can easily see it becoming a scrap-board for all sorts of things that need to be kept within sight. In fact my perfect studio would be entirely walled with white pin-boards.
More work in progress - this is my papier-mâché jewellery that resembles enamel - coated with resin - youtube tutorial part 1.
Fine white papier-mâché clay in the process of being made into various components for jewellery pieces. Some will be rings, brooches, pendants and lapel pins, whilst some groups of them will be made up into corsages, boutonnières and necklaces. Maybe even tiaras and bouquets. I have a few video tutorials on making them on YouTube
stage 1 of making 'flowers'  stage 2 of making 'flowers' 
Earrings etc of varying sizes drying out, prior to being soaked in epoxy resin - just enough to harden without glazing. Apologies for this dull photograph but it gives the impression! I've posted a tutorial on YouTube about making pressed earrings - in which I'm using the base of a fir cone and a Silligum (epoxy resin compound) mold. This product makes lovely impressions. Of course you can make up your own papier-mâché paste and there are  tutorials here -
These pieces are made by pressing the air drying papier-mâché clay onto the back of a spoon - in effect - a negative mold.
To make the earrings above, I've used an old Edwardian serving spoon as a mold.
This is the 'positive' side of the spoon - molds or moulds, depending on your preference, can be taken from either side for differing effects.
The Silligum mold ready to use. It will last indefinitely -
Leaving Seale-Hayne at the end of a another perfect day. I really do feel so grateful to have my studio here. It's strange because Seal-Hayne has only belonged to Hannah's for the last three years and before that it lay empty for quite a while. Before that it belonged to Plymouth University who somehow or other got around the original rules link of the trust created by Charles Seale-Hayne - 1833 - 1903 - this is his portrait by
Arthur Hacker. I am very fond of and grateful to Charles Seale-Hayne and feel that his legacy has been trampled upon by Plymouth University who carefully sold off some of the most valuable assets. The Old Seale-Hayneians are still pursuing this anomaly with solicitors in London. I feel it deserves prominence. I can only put in a link as unusually their page can't be copied but do take a look - it is outrageous - LINK
My point here however is that I have longed to have a studio in a place that was reminiscent of an Oxford or Cambridge University quad, a place that was also reminiscent of Art School and a place that above all was caring, open and honest. Whilst I was waiting for my ideal place it was coming into being.
© Robert Reginald Williams/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I happened on your site not to long back and so glad I did. I enjoy reading your posts and like seeing how you are going about fixing up your new place.
So neat to see, glad you are back posting.

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