Starting with the studio

It has been a while since I have written about fibre fun. This is not because I have not been doing anything, quite the opposite. I have been doing so many different things that I don’t know where to start. I feel scattered, too many things to tell.

So I will start with my new studio. I have taken over the building where we used to make cheese and I love my new space.

I have lots of windows and light.

Electricity and water means I can listen to music and make a cup of tea.

My collection of woolly dolls to keep me company.

And a separate room for getting messy with felting and wool picking.

In this new space I can work on different projects at the same time. Like this weaving on my table loom.

With the four harnesses on this loom I can weave more complicated patterns, like the raised pattern on this scarf.

I have also been able to complete some projects that have been sitting around for a long time. A certain felting project that didn’t turn out right, (when felting doesn’t work) is finally finished.

I divided the strips into two colour groups and then wove them with a wool warp to make two separate wall hangings.

This month I have also been busy with my weaving class. We have been displaying are work at school shows.

There was a lot of interest in what we are doing, with a few sales and the possibility of new students.

 

Add teaching felting classes, and shearing, spinning and dyeing mohair, I have been quite busy.  But I will leave those for another post.

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Cute as a button

As promised, more pictures of the lambs born last week.  However they still look wrinkled and I can’t seem to get a really cute picture.

Some of the lambs, like these, are born black then their fleece turns white as they grow.

They will keep their black face and legs.

This is the boy, who is more curious then his sister.

A couple of weeks ago I said that I felt there were changes in the air.  One of the reasons was because we stopped making cheese here on the farm.  My father started this almost 10 years ago, but for many reasons, (different depending on who you ask), the cheese “business” never really worked.

It seemed sad to finally admit that this was something that wasn’t going to work, but for me it has been a change for the better.  The building we made cheese in has now turned into my new fibre studio.

Unlike my old room, this building has electricity, water, no dust or bugs eating the wood in the ceiling!  It is spacious and secure, with lots of room for all my stuff.  Because it has electricity I have also expanded my wood working tools so that I can make looms, drop spindles and other woody things, like buttons.  I will post pictures soon of my new studio when it is organised.

So back to the buttons.  Last year when the trees fell down behind our house, they broke the top off one of the flowering trees.

Branches of different sizes were cut and some were left under the tree.

I collected some of this wood and cut it into disks to make buttons.  The wood is quite hard and I was very happy with the results.

I know it is a cliché, but beautiful things can be made from waste, and new beginnings can come from sad endings.

Before and After

I think everyone loves to see “before and after” pictures, especially when they are about transformations from something ugly and unusable to something beautiful and functional.  (We also seem fascinated by the before and after of disasters, but there is enough of that in the news).  These are my before and after photographs of my fibre studio, or my Spider’s Workshop.

My spinning room after five years of disuse

The building was the old pump house my father had built for the farm when he first moved here.  About six years ago we removed the pump, tiled the floor and put on a new door so I could use it for spinning.  It had open windows and gaps in the ceiling so unfortunately would fill with dust.  Because it was hard to keep clean I stopped using it for spinning and left it for storage.

Old box used for shelves

However with all my new fibre tools I needed a space to work and ventured back into the room to see what could be done.

The room was full of these spiders, not very nice

The first job was to clean it out and remove five years of spiders; that was not pleasant.

Behind a wooden box used as shelves there were hundreds. I felt like I was in a Steven King book.  There were even some mice skeletons in the cobwebs.

Everything removed, time to paint

Once it was all clean I painted it with left over paint from the house, while my husband made Plexiglas windows, (also from leftovers) to stop the dust from coming in.  He also made me some shelves and work tables, (from more leftovers).

The corner painted with my Kiwi next to a Traditional Jumbo Flyer

My carding equipment

Storage space, looms, and Ashford Traditional, (still has gaps in the ceiling)

Desk with spindles next to the door

For a couple of days I thought it looked like a breeze block room painted pretty colours, and not the studio I was dreaming of.  But once I moved all my stuff in, it started to feel like a space I could work and create in.  And in case I was having doubts, when asked at my daughters new school my “profession”, my husband answered “Artist”.

 

My Ashford Wild Carder has it's own space now

 

 

My bobbins hide under the curtain

 

Postcards and pictures I collected from craft shows when I was living in Devon