Thank you for all the name suggestions for my new rolling machine. My favorite was ‘Arachne’, suggested by Josiane from Montreal. The logic behind this name gives me shivers; I love the fact that it is both feminine and strong. I have to admit that I every time I hear the word Montreal, I get a little melancholy, as my favorite years as a young adult were spent there while attending university.
Josiane’s prize went in the mail last week: a felted flower on a wire stem and a Japanese book on simple felted jewelry. I’ve made almost everything in this book, so it goes with high recommendations (this is not my personal copy, but a thoughtful gift shared by Blair).
In honor of Josiane, who is interested in setting up her own felting studio, I thought I would take you on a tour of my workspace, finally complete.
This is a small room, measuring a little more than 8′ x 7′ with a narrow entry. The large x is a closet, inaccessible from this room. The space between the workbench and my storage shelves measures 36″. There is a small window with frosted glass (the former owners intended this room to be a bathroom) right behind Arachne.
Originally, I had hoped to have a sink for rinsing and filling up a kettle, but there really isn’t anywhere to put it, unless I move the storage shelves out. Considering this room was previously used for storage, and most of those items are now in our family room, there really isn’t anywhere else to put the boxes of roving. Besides, I really like the easy access I get from pulling boxes off the shelf behind me.
- Starting from the top left, Arachne, the rolling machine is now mounted on a base which is easier on my back, and has room for a drip tray. Lance reworked and reinforced the shipping crate to make the stand.
- sturdy workbench built with removable top, 4×4 posts, upholstered with high density foam and waterproof sailcloth
- vintage whiteboard from Shirorusty and encaustics from Marysusan
- crazy cat hanger used to store lariats
- one wall of the narrow entry is the back of Lance’s closet with bare metal studs
- pieces of art felt are tacked up to remind me of where I’ve been, what I’ve made and what is yet to be completed
- a deep shelf under the workbench gives me storage for towels, rolls of bubble wrap, bamboo mats and empty boxes
- tubs full of teaching materials are stored below so I can quickly pack up the car for a class
- a flexible IKEA shelving unit was easily customized to include a small shelf for reams of tissue paper used to gift wrap my sales; bottles of vinegar and bars of soap are stored below.
- above the workbench are three open shelves filled with materials, completed projects and items in process; a sale that didn’t go through is already wrapped and ready for shipping; abstract landscape prints by BudanArt are hung at eye level; baskets filled with felted soaps in progress hang from the bottom shelf
- squeeze bottles, felted flowers, needle felting tools, scale, colorful chalkboard painted with tropical fish by Zoë Young
- color samples of roving hang on a curtain wire from IKEA above Arachne and the window
- lots of and lots of Kiss My Face soap
- end of workbench, art and love created by my children, clock from Good Kismet
- carafe for storing hot water, a small coffee urn used for the vinegar rinse, a Y2K champagne bucket fitted with an aluminum colander for draining wet felt; a plastic tub full of water for the final rinse and a 5 gallon bucket full of liquid olive oil soap are tucked in the bottom shelf to the left of the carafe; all of the items in this picture were upcycled or thrifted
- banker’s boxes filled with roving filling a large IKEA storage unit
Full-size versions of these photos can be seen in my Flickr set labeled ‘studio’.