It’s been a long time coming and I’ve been reluctant, but I’ve finally said goodbye to keeping my main practice in a room in my house
I’ve loved working from home – it keeps you connected to what is going on with the family and enabled me to do lots of different things all the time – juggling work and home life. However, it also meant that I was able to work all night if I wanted to. This may sound ideal and my reluctance to move is because, in many ways, it is, but there is only so long you can take over every room of your house with your business before the family rebels. Also, after becoming very unwell with extreme exhaustion at the end of last year something had to give. This move is meant to be the start of a new phase of my life.
So, it was goodbye to enamelling at home this week. Monday was my last day. I’ll still be mounting my panels in my home studio and packing and doing all the paperwork there, but the painting of frames and the enamelling will be done somewhere else.
I joined BV Studios a couple of years ago taking a desk space in a shared studio room. I got the space to give me somewhere to work with paper, but in the end I found working creatively with a lot of people around me very intimidating and didn’t use the space much at all. (I’ll have to overcome this from September though as I will be starting a part-time MA in Design at UWE, Bristol – more about this in a future blog.) By chance, at the right time, in September 2014 a large basement room came available and I decided to take it with a view to doing more work there, and I’d have it all to myself. Almost immediately I moved the painting of my frames and blocks to the basement studio and it transformed the number of pieces I could paint in a sitting due to the vast amount of space to lay things out in.
Now I have finally installed my kiln and yesterday after a couple of days of moving and tidying (though there’s still more to do!) I did my first enamelling.
It’s going to be a big change for me – change of hours, change of practice, but I’m feeling good about it now its done. I’m never good with change – moving the kiln in our car on Tuesday morning was the last act if performed for us – we said goodbye to our old Bristol Blue Doblo and said hello to our new one the same afternoon. Again I was reluctant about the change – the old blue Doblo had been to all my shows with me, been overloaded with mdf almost daily for over 10 years, but it was starting to become more unreliable. The new car is again a Doblo, but a nearly new one and has more mod cons like electric rear windows (wow!!!), but it is also a semi-automatic which is very scary to me who doesn’t like change, but I have driven it now and I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
My new studio is going to be open as part of BV Open Studios on Friday 24 April from 6-9pm, Saturday 25 April 11am-6pm and Sunday 26 April 11am-6pm. Do come along and see the studios and work of over 120 creative people in 35 units over 4 levels under one roof – that’s 30,000 sq ft to explore! It’s at 37 Philip Street, Bedminster, BS3 4EA. Visit www.bvstudios.co.uk to find out more. I’m in B3 and I will be around the whole weekend – you might even catch me doing a bit of enamelling, and I’ll have experimental paper cuts on show too.