It's hard to believe that I'm making this statement so soon, but I've moved my studio...again. You all may not remember, but last summer, after years, decades of working out of my house, I rented a large warehouse space with a friend and set up shop there.
There were some definite advantages to the move. Three people live in my little house and moving my workspace elsewhere freed up space. The warehouse space was large and my friend was super-handy and able to craft the space, even if only in a rudimentary way, to suit our needs. I also liked the idea of separating my work and home life.
The reality, however, was a little different than anticipated.
First, the space had no temperature control. This is Texas and that makes for a cold winter( yes, we do have winters, though short) and a brutal summer. Patterning and dyeing fabric in the space didn't seem to be a problem as I'd always worked in unheated/un-air conditioned garages, so I was familiar with that. What I found difficult to deal with was sewing in the space and either simultaneously shivering or profusely sweating. My solution to that was to set up a sewing space at home in my bedroom. I now had a temperature controlled space to sew in, but i'd defeated the purpose of separating the two aspects of my life and I had to transport WIPs back and forth between the two spaces.
And, finally, the deciding factor was the warehouse owner's decision to substantially raise our rent. I was just doing to much accommodating to make the space work to justify paying more rent.
So, back home I went.
This time, though, I decided that I would really craft my work space. I wouldn't make the work fit the space, I would make the space facilitate the work.
To that end, I hired a handyman to install additional lighting in the garage where we would be doing our dye work. I started using an upright portable air conditioner so that we'd be more comfortable working in the garage. I organized and planned my sewing space so that it would be function and inspirational.
And I made sure I had a wall big enough to take photographs.
Because this is an 1,800 square foot house where three people live, I did have to concede the guest bed living in my sewing space, but, there's a silver lining.
I can layout large scale quilts as they're being constructed and, of course, take a sweet mid-day nap in my light filled space.
If I were to pass on any advice to someone else about creating a dedicated space to craft, it would be really think about the way you work and what your priorities are. Be flexible, but not to the extant that you're working harder to make the space work than the the space is working for you.