According to Virginia Woolf, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”.
The same might be said of female artists, and I have finally achieved the second, if not the first! 😉
In theory, I have had my own workroom. When we first moved into the house 28 years ago, Ever Supportive Partner built a whole load of shelves in a room on the first floor, which instantly filled up with books.
When I became interested in textiles, my collection of fibres, materials and tools ended up in this room too. But because the shelves were full of books, there was nowhere for my stash to go, so it ended up in bags piled on the floor – and hence there was nowhere to work.
For the past few years I have worked largely on our dining room table, due to the fact that it is the largest one in the house. However, the room, which faces north-west, is rather dark, and every time we have friends round for supper or meetings I have to clear everything away (which in practice meant piling it up along the walls).
ESP was forever moaning about the mess, so last month we finally got round to installing more bookshelves in the dining room. This meant that we could move all the books downstairs, leaving the shelves upstairs free for my stuff.
We now have a lovely clutter-free dining room (if you don’t count books!), and I have a fantastic space of my own where I can leave stuff out without having to put up with ESP’s grumbling.
Note there are still three shelves of books upstairs – all textile titles. And I spent a small fortune on plastic storage boxes – they’re not as attractive as baskets but they have the virtue of being see through and (hopefully) moth proof!
I still occasionally need to work downstairs when making longer pieces such as scarves. And I will continue to dye indigo outdoors (weather permitting).
But it makes such a difference having all my stuff together in one place, easily located (for now). And although this room is actually above the dining room, it gets more light because it’s higher up.
All that remains to be done is to hang some inspiring pieces on the walls – and then move on to the first of Virginia Woolf’s requirements. 😉