Saturday, March 20, 2010

Setting up a felting studio

Dear Friends
This post is in response "Karoda" who left at message at my previous post. She is thinking of setting up a felting studio and all I can say is "GO KARODA!"
Righto. These images are of my studio a little while ago and although I shift things around and more treasures (trash?) are housed there - it is basically the same.

My studio is not huge but compared to the kitchen table it is a palace! I so love going there and I think first and foremost this is imperative for a creative environment. You must create a corner that you are eager to get to. A corner of the study, the spare bedroom, the garden shed, the attic, the corner of the family room, the basement or the weeny space off the laundry.
The first thing is to get in some table/s that can be left in position that can provide storage beneath them and that are white and throw back some light. Perhaps if you find an old door you could whack some cheap white acrylic paint on it. This can always be removed if you want the door at a later stage without any tears at all.
The second thing to get is to get good lighting. Try to get it as natural as possible. The colours that you use will certainly be affected by the light hitting them.

The next thing to think about is designated areas that you keep for jobs that you would do every time you create. Somewhere you will go to use the sewing machine (see above), somewhere to do a spot of ironing, somewhere that your supplies are easily accessed. A wet area for the sink or place for water.

Get tubs or boxes that are uniform so that they easily stacked and can be labelled clearly.
OH YES and believe me, keep one type of item per bucket. This makes creating a real pleasure if you can get to your goodies quickly.
Once a month I do a bucket check out and fix up. On the odd occasion I locate a misplaced treasure but it is really to keep my studio practise running smoothly.
There is a real pleasure in handling your supplies on a fairly regular basis. You keep in mind what you need and what you have free licence to buy more of !

The colour that you paint the studio is a very personal thing. A base colour of pale grey, white or cream or even a glowing colour like gold is a good idea so that any colours that you add on top will look great. Keep it as calm or as bight and cheerful as you like - you can always change it!

Have wool in a well lit area rather than away somewhere out of sight. This will avoid moth. My best advice is to get a shoe rack - ideal for skeins of wool. These are all 50 grams so I know how much I will need for a designated project. As soon as you have a table to work and easy access to a sink and great lighting - march right ahead purchasing your tools of the trade. Good wool at all costs - be suspicious of super cheap offers. You will be spending much time pursuing your creations so buy the very best you can afford.

Have pieces of your own work around the studio to inspire you and display them in such a way that gives you pleasure. Perhaps you have a box of treasures that have never found a real home - the studio is the place for them.

Finally on the floor - avoid concrete at all costs. It will give you varicose veins! Felters mainly work standing on their feet. The carpet I have I purchased at the hardware store and it cost about $35.00 a metre for 2 metres wide. I simply glued it to the concrete surface. It cuts down all noise and is cosier in winter.
My studio was created on a shoestring. I had next to no money. So all my cupboards were from cast offs from the family and I even have my first baby wardrobe in there with Beatrix Potter contact on the shelves!
Do what you can with what you have on hand - most things can be made lovely and cheap, flat pack furniture, will be invisible when you get all your gorgeous creations on them.
The cosmetic stuff is really the inspiring aspect that make you excited to be there. Not just the opportunity to work in a peaceful area, but a place that is truly yours.
OH YES 2 last things.............
A place for a tea/coffee station and somewhere to put your CD player and and plenty of different types of music.

My love to you all, wherever you create
PS You can see my studio article in the FALL 2008 edition put out by Cloth Paper Scissors


  1. really interesting and I am really jealous!!!!!!!!!!

  2. thank you for showing this...i hope i´ll need this inspiration soon! ;-)

  3. Love your Studio Elizabeth !
    " Thanks for all the recomendations"
    I wish I had my own studio...
    some day it will come
    xx Sil

  4. What a wonderful studio rundown!! My spot needs a shakup and i love your idea of a monthly bin check!! BRILLIANT!!! It is always inspiring to hear what other artists do and they systems that they set up!! thanks so much for sharing!!

  5. thank you Elizabeth for sharing your advice. the space i'll be working with is 275 sq. feet (25.5 sq. meter) that I share with an artist who exhibits small items but doesn't work out of the space. Its in an artists' complex that was originally a meat processing plant. i use the space to do machine needle felting and for displaying quilts. right outside our door are 2 very large deep sinks which is why i thought of expanding it into a "felting" studio.

  6. Envy!
    I have a small room with tables around the edges and no sink so I have to felt on the kitchen table. I really would love a central table to walk around. However I truly believe that you would create fabulous felt in any space.

  7. Thank you for posting this; it is so inspiring. I have such a small room, 10' x 9' but some of that is taken up with a stairwell. I found good ideas here that I can use. I love your work! I used to felt about 20 years ago and loved it. I think it's time to try it again.

  8. Hi E
    You know I want to live in your studio don't you?
    Love to you and Ms Nell!
    Dot xx

  9. LOVE your studio and totally agree with everything you say. i just, in the past several months, have really tried to decorate my own studio-to make it "that" place i want to go to. you make me want to come visit you!

  10. merci pour vos conseils, votre atelier est tres beau! je vais ammenager le mien rapidement

  11. Thanks for sharing! I am working on building a studio/ atelier here in Germany, too and hope, that I can work as you ..... love my work everyday and being happy and thankful that I can do the thing I most like as my work!
    Sorry for the bad English ...but I think you understand, what I wanted to say ?!?!

  12. Oh, your working space is so creative and cozy. I'd like to have my own studio to.