7.12.2010

Work Rooms


The editor of my new book, Slow Love, Lauren LeBlanc, is not only talented with words; she is adept with needles as well. She sews and she knits, and she gives her friends (and lucky writers) gifts she has made. Last winter, I got a pair of gloves without the fingertips, for those cold mornings at the computer. (I think she wanted me to finish the book!) She recently wrote to me about one day having a sewing room, and that sent me into a reverie. I would love a sewing room. Not because I sew, but because I would like to be the kind of person who sews. And weaves. And knits (something other than scarves). And throws pots. And bakes bread. (Oh yes, I already have one of those rooms. That would be the kitchen.)

We are now going way beyond the sewing kit phase, into a fantasy of a homemade, handmade, life. Lauren's dream room reminded me of a visit to a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Florence, Alabama. Mildred Rosenbaum was a weaver and a seamstress, who also did lots of embroidery.

She had a small room in the house she and her husband built in 1939 devoted to her craft; it contained a large loom (no longer there) and small hand looms, as well as built in shelves and drawers hidden away for yarns and shuttles and things. I stood in the doorway, entranced by the golden light bringing out the warm patina of the wood, taking in the graciousness of this kind of room of one's own, a room out of which would flow beautiful and useful things for everyone in the family.

9 comments:

Karena said...

Dominique, I love Frances's works of art. Her pottery is divine. Will look at the slideshow right now!

SweetRetreat said...

Just yesterday I put the finishing touches to my new fishing-tackle sewing box. Now this lovely inspiration. Sigh ...

sandrajonas.com said...

How wonderful to have found you again!! I so missed H&G and your monthly musings.

june said...

Hey....what's wrong with knitting scarves???! I like knitting scarves because it is meditative work and I don't have to worry about THINKING so much.....

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Stop! You're killing me! How I would love that sort of knitting studio. I often dream of a tiny knitting shop on the Isle of Skye. Called Shilisdair, it's located In Waternish, right above the ocean, where all the wool is woven from the sheep that graze just across the fence. Most of the shop is simply a studio, and the owner lives right next door. The light there! The wool! I keep a photograph here on my desk. Each time I look at it I start rummaging for my passport.

david terry said...

Odd that fishing-tackle boxes have come up....

For years, I've kept every single bit of my "art supplies" in a big fishing-tackle box. I've got my feet propped up on it even now, as I pound away on this, My Engine of Truth.

Of course, I understand that sculptors, folks who wrap bridges, and all sorts of other artists couldn't make-do with just a tackle box. Fortunately for me, all of my work is on paper (that stays in the closet), and I've never drawn or painted anything larger than 35" x 30".

My "studio" is the smallest room in the house.... a very pleasant room with big windows and floor-to-ceiling bookcases. It basically looks like a small "reading room" in some B&B. Since I'm fairly maniacal about putting away current projects except when I'm actually working on them, clients are invariably (and obviously) deflated by a "Visit to Your Studio!".

No kidding. About two years ago a reporter and a photographer were here to interview me for an article, and the reporter said "Now, I'd LOVE to get some shots of you in your studio!".

I told her that she'd just done that, since we were, in fact, standing in my "studio". She furrowed her brow and asked where all my "Art supplies" were, and I pointed at the tackle-box.

Confronted with this appalling lack of artsy-atmosphere, the woman acted as though she'd opened Julia Child's pantry to find nothing but boxes of ready-made cake mix and hamburger-helper.

In any case, a tackle-box is a good and useful thing.

Bemusedly yours,

David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

pve design said...

One day soon, I shall have my very own studio - or atelier - to go to, to shut the door, to create, devoted to my craft.
I love my home, my family and my kitchen, but I look forward to having my very own space....to paint, to draw, to illustrate and to sew too.
pve

Väva! Veve! said...

I am thrilled to say that this past December I was actually able to move my two looms (my third being at the cabin)and my assorted linen yarn and weaving equipment, tables and bookcases, books and baskets, to my very own loft space, leaving my living room completely empty, spurring a flurry of shopping to at least provide some seating if someone stopped by.

Besides my productivity, my creativity, my motivation, my professional self esteem, have all grown in proportion to the additional square footage I now have.

Granted, the loft is in the basement, allowing me only 2 small clerestory windows that let me look out at the tires and underside of a car that parks by the building. However, that is a paltry price to pay for the oh-so-wonderful experience of having blocks of time in which to complete a thought now that my children can function independently of the apron strings, and my projects are able to roll off my looms on a daily basis, rather than it being a annual occurance!

I enthusiastically recommend one's own special and separate space in which to be inspired to think, create, and grow. If I could I would send pictures!

Thea said...

I would love to have a sewing studio or a place to do artistic things, and i've carved out a work bench in my laundry room. Have it decorated with cloches and brown and white transferware, and my collection of gardening mags. I try to create that type of lifestyle while totally ignoring the fact that i am not so good at those artistic things. but i have a great interest in them and try anyway. i amuse myself no end! i've been making paper things lately, like victorian folded letters, bookmarks, gift tags and paper dolls. it's so much fun and i do it just for me!