This past weekend was the North Adams Open Studios. This event, while taking place the same weekend of October for the past 8 years, has expanded, contracted, and perhaps now stabilized. Like the event itself, I have “expanded” (participated), “contracted” (kept my doors closed), and perhaps now “stabilized” (participated once again). Prior to agreeing to participate I waffled. Yes, no, yes, no — and finally YES! And I am so glad I opened my doors. I had a lot of fun. It was great talking to those people who chose to be engaged, and sharing bits and pieces of the felt-making process with them. It was great to see people walk through, take a look, and choose not to engage. I was able to work on a variety of small projects over the course of the weekend. The whipping cream this year was that I sold quite a bit of hand made felted articles. That’s such a wonderful affirmation of my work.
I started out taking some videos with my camera. I was inspired to make a video by Luann Udell, blogger and artist extraordinaire, who made a video of her studio prepared for Open Studios a few weeks ago. Then I got nervous, since I’d never taken a video before, becoming sure I’d mess it up. So I turned off the video. I just now reviewed my footage and regret not having continued. I think I’ll learn more about taking and editing video so I can offer that to you some time. Instead today I’ll show you some good, old fashioned photos.
The front of the Eclipse Mill, the building my studio is in. The Eclipse Mill was built as a textile mill in the mid-nineteenth century and continued as such for most of it’s life. Until it was converted to artists’ live/work spaces 9 years ago. I no longer live there, but I continue to have a studio there and participate in the community. Here it is:
Here’s a shot of my front door, open and welcoming.
Come on in and take a look around!
You can see the table with items for sale and in the back one of my work tables.
Here’s the “items” table again and behind it my “think” wall. This is where I hang pieces that have been felted and now need further work. Embellishment of some kind, which might be stitching, beading, additional fabrics — or all of those. By the way, the table is one of 2 of my felting tables, especially designed by my Finnish friend, Rod Welch. It has a drain in one corner with a 5 gallon pail underneath to catch the run off. All of the other corners are elevated higher than the drain corner. The surface is a vinyl flooring w/ some texture to aid in the felting process, and a lip around the outside to keep the water contained until it runs out the drain. It’s a great table and has saved me hours of sucking up water with a wet/dry vac. Under the table are plastic garbage pails for storing batts of fleece.
Now, I don’t want you to think there is something un-natural about the way I work, so here’s a peek into my back room. It’s a little messier than usual (though not that much) ’cause I dumped quite a bit of the stuff from the front room in there and just closed the door. An easy way to “clean up” when in a hurry.
I am loving the orderliness of my front room so I have promised myself to slowly bring the back room into a similar order. Then I can start working and revert to my messy self! When I’m in the grip of creativity the last thing I want to do is spend time putting things away.
One last treat. A glimpse of work hung on the hallway outside my studio.