This June, the Bainbridge Artisans Resource Network opened the doors to eleven artisans studios, with several common spaces for programs and intermingling. Located on Bainbridge Island, Washington, this center for artisans has been a dream in the making for many years. Not everyone is fortunate to have a studio space. Many of us have spent periods of our lives, perhaps decades, working on the kitchen or dining room table, where either meals were eaten elsewhere, or our projects suffered through repeated set-backs as materials were hastily shoved into boxes and stowed away for the next block of creative time eked out of busy schedules.
Ten years ago, my husband and two grown-up sons got together with friends, and built me the sweetest studio I could ever dream of working in. Having the dedicated space has made a significant difference in my productivity and creative growth. Everyday, when I step into my studio, I enter with gratitude and excitement!
I’ve even been able to do some tiny bits of teaching from my studio, but space is important for teaching, and you can see that it is a cozy space! (Above) Just enough room for former IslandWood graduate students Olivia and Liam to make backpacks, but only if I am standing outside! The size was dictated by the 12’x 14′ cement basketball court we built for our sons many years earlier. I’ve come to terms with my own personality, knowing that no matter how much space I am allowed, I will fill it up! So I celebrate every inch of my studio, and embrace the size as a way to help me focus. But many artists, like myself, spend a lot of their time working in solitude. Getting out to teach, or to share projects and commune with other creative people is also very important to my growth as an artist.
The Fiber Art studio available to me at the BARN, not only gives me a decadent amount of space in which to offer workshops and share knowledge, but it offers me wonderful connections with a community of diverse artists.
Here are some images of the recent workshop I was so fortunate to teach in the brand new Fiber Art Studio at BARN this June.
Over the course of two days, every student had the opportunity to remove their own pieces of cedar bark from freshly cut rounds of cedar trees that needed to be cut down in from family property. The cedars were between 25-30 years old, so the bark was fairly thin, and tended to split around the places where the limbs grew out from the tree. But these trees have personality, and in anything made with them, this personality comes through!
Here is one angle of the georgeous space available in the Fiber Art Studio at BARN. There are plans to plant a dye garden and native plant fiber garden just out the studio door, around the drainage catchment pond which is dry now.
More to come…must get out to work today!