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November 08, 2022 1 Comment
As we slide further into Autumn with torrential rain and darker afternoons, I thought we could all use a little cheering up with a memory of summer. So at the end of this blog post you can watch a video taken this summer of my morning commute to the home studio. As you will see, it's not such an arduous journey!
But before that, a little bit about how I came to set up a bookbinding studio at home. And I'll share details of those fantastic Artist's Books and Paper Folding references in the photo.
Like many people, in 2020 I made a hasty shift to working from home when covid hit. Luckily we had not long before moved to a house with a garden room, which we affectionally call 'the cabin'. It had electricity and running water and was a pretty decent size, so I was able to set up a makeshift bookbinding studio. I had a folding wooden garden chair at my desk (not recommended), essential materials in boxes and two trestle tables for workbenches that family members no longer needed.
The cabin studio was cosy, fairly light and WFH suited me very well. And it meant I was always on hand to take The Littlest Greyhound out for our government-approved once a day walk or listen to The Cat Overlord's many comments and occasional complaints.
Working from the cabin studio meant I could start offering a Click & Collect service for anyone within easy reach of Wimborne, in Dorset.
And of course, it meant I could stay in bed a little longer in the morning! Not that the drive to my proper studio was long, but an extra 30 minutes in bed is not to be sniffed at, is it?
This year, I decided to make the transition permanent.
It took a few months, but I've finally completed the big move. I welcomed in 'The Beast'; an A3 printer so I can better print your books' personalised titlepages. (Thanks to The Beast, I hope to bring Travel Journals back to the shop and offer you new services and styles of books, too. Fingers crossed for some spare time in 2023 to brainstorm that.)
I have new matchy-matchy furniture with drawers galore, and invested in a comfortable desk chair. We've repainted the cabin's wood exterior black, which complements the garden greenery, and chosen a cheerful yellow for the windows. It's a little like an homage to Prospect Cottage, Derek Jarman's home in Dungeness. Or at least, it will be, if and when it ever stops raining and I can repaint the windwos.
There are still shelves to put up, and interior walls to paint, but making the move was definitely the right decision. I find it easier to manage my energy levels, and I'm glad to be saving on petrol costs. I miss my design colleagues at my former studio, but luckily they always welcome me back for a visit and a game of table tennis, our usual lunch break activity.
The untidy view: multiple worksurfaces and more places to stack materials mean I can take on more projects at the same time. In this photo I was making that Memory Book and some Japanese Sketchbooks for Rekindle The Simple, with paper for a large project waiting in boxes.
If you're curious about the reference books in this blog post's main image, here are the details:
Paper Folding Techniques for Print Design by Trish Witkowski
The Art of the Fold by Hedi Kyle & Ulla Warchol
The Book as Art: Artist’s Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts by Krystyna Wasserman
The Penland Book of Handmade Books
A Dictionary of Colour Combinations, Seigensha
GF Smith's paper collection sample book
Having a home studio was a dream that I wasn't sure would ever come true, but sometimes... life just works out. Are you also a creative that made the shift to permanently work from home? How are you finding it? What's your space like? Why not leave a comment below, and don't forget to include a link to your website or Insta.
Now, scroll just a little further for that video to remind yourself how beautiful summer can be, and will be again.
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