My Dream Workspace

9:01 AM Posted In , Edit This 2 Comments »
October's take it Further challenge is to think about our work spaces and how they affect our work. Way back in January, I posted photos of my messy studio and shared some information about the challenges associated with my space. As my business grows, and I have been expanding into selling supplies as well as creating accessories, I am coming to realize that my space is simply not sufficient. I need at least twice as much room as I have now, possibly three times as much, as well as better storage options and a reliable water supply.

I've been fantasizing about having a yurt studio. Bryan thinks I'm nuts - or just obsessed with yurts because I've also been suggesting that we ditch our bat infested, polluted water home in Ft. Jackson and go live in a yurt at his parents' while we build something smaller, greener and more suitable to the lifestyle we want to be living.

I used to want my studio to be integrated into the general living quarters of the house. I'm recognizing that this is not an effective strategy for someone who really wants to be productive. Plus, in order to have a studio the size I would need, that could mean that we would need to have an Enormous house. As things are now, I have to keep chasing Maxx out of my studio so that he doesn't get the scissors or chop up some important piece of paperwork with the craft cutter or get his hands on my creme brule torches (affectionately dubbed "mom's mini flame throwers"). He and Molly invariably seem to need my attention whenever I'm in my studio, which wouldn't be so much of a problem if the space wasn't already so cramped. As it is, if I get one more body in there while I'm working, even a small one, I simply cannot move to reach the things I need. If I had a space of my own that was larger and separate from the rest of the house, it would be easier to say "mom's working," easier to ignore the phone, easier to enforce mom-space rules and more possible to set up a small area for kiddy crafts.

Bry and I also used to think that it would be nice to have our work spaces in a shared structure. (His dream, and he's moving toward it, is to create furniture from recycled barn wood and to learn to make canoes.) Considering that my work is strongly leaning toward textiles and his would strongly lean toward sawdust and varnish, we are realizing that this may not be wise. Someday when all of this is working the way that we want it to, finished furniture can come into my studio for upholstery.

Bry & I had a conversation about my fantasy yurt studio a few days ago. His expression spoke "my wife is off her rocker" quite loudly as he tried to explain that he could easily build me a small studio separate from the house, if he had the materials, for about the same amount of time & money needed to put up a yurt. I looked at him as if he were the crazy one and pointed out that with a yurt, you set up the platform, put up the wall and roof, roll on the covering, install the wiring & plumbing and it's done. DONE. No measuring twice and then cutting and then adjusting your cut. No doors and windows to measure and install. No fiberglass insulation to staple on. No wall board to put up. No painting to do. No surprise expenses at the last minute. It could be all finished in three days to a week and then I would get to move in and get right to work. Just Like That.

He argued against the quirky geometry of living in a yurt. I love quirky geometry. My bedroom in my parents' log cabin was right under the spot where the two roof angles came together. I feel at home in a slanted ceiling with exposed structural elements. I really dislike big, flat planed boxes. I agree that shelving might be a difficult issue, but I'm sure I could find a way to make it work.

This is what I would need in my dream studio:
- really good lighting - maybe some portable& adjustable light fixtures would be handy here.
- a double basin sink with a sprayer and at least one laundry sized sink all at counter top level with running hot and cold water
- a floor drain might be handy near the sink area
- a work station dedicated to sewing
- a work station dedicated to bead work
- a large, long table of counter top height or of adjustable height for silk painting, dyeing, and other arts and crafts
- a small area, well lighted to photograph my work that includes both a table for photographing small works and a dress form against a clean wall area for scarves, wearables and larger works.
- a packing center to hold boxes, envelopes, labels, tape, baggies and bubblewrap.
- small shelves to hold all of my little bead barrels. They are taking over my studio. Something like a pumped up and overgrown spice rack with a white backing would be handy - then I could see everything in each barrel with a quick scan instead of having to pick each one up as I search for what I need.
- a Medium size bookcase to hold my studio literature
- Cupboards or shelves to hold all of my fabric, chemicals, dyes, paints, stamps and other miscellaneous arts supplies.
- drawers under table surfaces for tools, jewelry wire, adhesives, paper supplies etc . . . . .
- a small heating unit - whether that would be a little woodstove or a small propane or electric space heater, I'm not sure.

I'm wondering if a 16' yurt would do the trick - I'm thinking it probably would not be quite big enough. Maybe a 20 footer? What I should do is work out a floor plan with little scale model pieces of what I need and go from there. That would be fun to do today but I have aclass to teach tonight and need to go get ready for that and spend some time on the treadmill. The yurt photos I've pasted in here are taken from the following yurt companies' websites:

Bue Ridge Yurts
Spirit Mountain Yurts
Colorado Yurts
Rainier Yurts
Pacific Yurts

Maybe someday I'll get to buy a yurt of my own!


Molly Bean & Truman said...

Hey mom! You should have been a writer, everybody would have loved your work! I love to read the things you write, and Truman does to!I agree with you on the yurt thing completely, I'd love to live in a yurt. But I'm even more psyched about my tower!

Virginia Burnett said...

Well, my little Been sprout - who says I won't end up being a writer when I finally grow up? :)

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