Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Studios for real people

We all know that making art is not a tidy business. Still, some of us continue to labor under the delusion that our art-making spaces should be neat and clean. Personally, I love it when my studio/office is tidy and well-organized...and for those rare few minutes, I feel so smug virtuous. But most of the time, when work is in progress, it’s pretty much of a mess. And, really, that's okay with me. As I used to say to my mom when I was a teenager (quoting a poster I saw once), "A creative mess is better than idle neatness."

I love seeing pictures of other quilters’ studio spaces. I’m fascinated to see how they organize their supplies, how they set up their ironing stations, what machines they have, what their design walls look like. And, thanks to the wonder of the internet, there are lots of places to see pictures of people’s sewing and art studios. Many books offer glimpses of quilt artists’ sewing spaces, too... always beautifully decorated and looking wonderfully clean and uncluttered. Those studios always look so appealing (Freddie Moran’s comes to mind – oh, the time I’ve spent pouring over the photos of her amazing, colorful house!) But c’mon, let’s get honest here. How often does a studio look that clean? Where are the scraps on the floor? The piles of fabric heaped on the table? The half-empty soda cans, water bottles, and coffee cups? The spools of threads and bobbins that have rolled off in every direction?

I want to see REAL sewing rooms! So, I admit that when I look at photos of other quilters’ sewing rooms, the photos I absolutely love to see are the ones showing them in their full messy glory. It makes me feel like a member of THAT club... Look, I think to myself, her pile of fabric is as messy as mine! Or, even better... Her pile is MESSIER than mine! She has MORE stuff on the floor than I do! Seeing the real-life, every day messy studios makes me feel like I’m in good company.

As a public interest, I offer the following list of links you can follow to see other people’s less-than-pristine studio spaces. (You can find the clean ones yourself, but trust me, they're not as interesting.) If you’re not on the list but want to share how your studio looks in real life, feel free to email me a link or include it in a comment! It’ll cheer me up no end to see your mess, really! In fact, I'm liking this idea so much that I think I'll collect these and make a sidebar of these links! C'mon, show us your creative clutter!

(By the way, while I think that the mess is a sign of active creativity, if you're offended that I've listed your studio picture here in the messy category and want the link removed, please let me know and I'll remove it post haste!)

My mess (here and here)
Gerrie's studio
Melody's mess
Alison's studio (but she needs more clutter)
Carol's studio
Cathy's studio
Claire's sewing area (a bit too neat, but I'll include it anyway)
Deborah's studio
Dijanne's studio
Debra's studio
Deborah L.'s sewing table
Elle's workspace
Jenni's studio (dangerously tidy)
Jo's work area
Kimberly's studio area (not only mostly tidy, but she posted this at 5:24 AM!)
Laura's studio
Liz's studio (here and here)
Liz B's studio
Lynne's work area
Mandi's studio
Melanie's studio
Teri's work area



Liz said...

Thanks for these links, Diane - I have just spent a wonderful half an hour ignoring the kids and wallowing in everyone else's studios!

Sherill Kahn's is the one I really covet - see
http://www.impressmenow.com/projects/project_6.htm (except it's tidy)


Liz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Liz said...

Sorry about the delete - I accidentally posted the above comment twice!

Deborah said...

So fun! How did you ever track all those down, Diane? I think we should take a poll of everyone who has ever sucked a stray piece of fabric (or whatever) under the sewing machine needle because they were trying to quilt in the middle of a huge pile of stuff. (My hand is raised!)

Karoda said...

I'll post pics tomorrow since I sew on the kitchen table which means I set up and take down (I've cleaned up for today already)...fabrics, notions, books, magazines are stored on bookshelves in my bedroom.

Deb R said...

All right Diane, you've inspired me to make my Thursday post a studio tour. Here's the link:
DebR Studio Pics

Elle said...

LOL! Fun! I cracked up when I saw my workspace on the list! I'm like Karoda, I set up and take down too since I work on a downstairs dining room table--which wouldn't be so bad if there weren't frequent get-togethers here, lol.

Diane said...

Ooh! Check out Sue's studio here...