It took a long day to do it, but the studio is cleaned up for the moment. This is a fleeting experience so I thought I’d take a few pictures before I spread out all the wet materials and begin the fun again, making my typical huge mess.
It is interesting, meeting other artists, learning how each of us have similar or differing processes to help us in our creative endeavors. Personally, I struggle with the need to see the materials I have, balanced against the need for space around me. I’m sure this is all relative because believe it or not, these are pictures of my studio in it’s “uncluttered” state! I hide lots of prepped materials in bins hidden behind the cedar work bench. Lots of sticks are back there too. I just can’t pass by a nice stick or root!
Craftspeople like me seem to collect tools. Those bins are filled with tools and materials. My backpack is ready at all times with bark gathering and gardening tools. When I teach here, the space limits classes to four people at most.
The studio was completed five years ago, built upon the 12 foot by 16 foot basketball court we made for our sons when they were young. I’ve learned that no matter how much space I’m allowed, I will fill it up with my collection of nature treasures. Right now the upstairs loft is packed tight with these treasures. There is likely a diagnosis for this condition, but I think for me it’s best to have a limited space, so I can focus on becoming selective and practical.
What usually happens when I clean-up is that I find lots of wonderful basket and bark starts that I put to the side as other materials become available for gathering. Living in a moderately rural setting, one must gather bark when people decide to do some clearing, or selective pruning. Once the sap is up, I am ready to respond if anyone who know about my particular interest calls, which means that the projects I had going get packed up in the loft, temporarily forgotten.
So here are the bark starts from last season. Madrona, Wild Cherry, and Western Red Cedar. Tucked away I also found the Red Alder, Willow, and Fig bark starts. Oh the joy! How fortunate I am to have these wonderful materials and a dedicated space to work with them.