Thursday, 19 July 2012

A sparkly new studio opening

It was over a year ago now that we moved out of the wonderfully supportive and friendly Pie Factory in Margate, to set up our own independent studio and workshop.

The new workspace was the storage and warehouse side of what used to be (we think) a distribution centre for the local brewery. That was some 100 years ago, and it has since been a furniture stripping workshop (oh really?!), part of a tattoo parlour, and at one point possibly even a squat - nice.

Spread out over two floors, and with a good space for storage as well as woodworking and sewing etc. I thought it would be a great opportunity to have the space that we so needed for all our diverse activities. It can be tricky having a meeting about a textile design when you are sitting in a pile of sawdust and underneath some future furniture projects.

Studio 24 before.
The unit was internally connected to the neighbouring shop, and the hardest thing to do in the past year has been to disconnect the two on paper! 'Studio 24' was born, and we have spent 12 months re-wiring, re-glazing, woodworking, painting, demolishing, plumbing, tiling, plastering, cleaning, restoring, weeding - the works.

Had we been able to suspend work on furniture for a few months, our fantastic new workspace would have been finished with speed. But, happily, people really need Margate Drawers, and we've fitted our renovation in around our daily furniture work.

We are finally near the end of all of the changes, and plan to have a little celebration to mark the new studio opening. Our WONDERFUL neighbours from Block Colour (another welcome change to the street in the last six months) will also be opening to show off the latest work of their very own Heidi Plant, so there will be lots to see on our street at the weekend.

If you find yourself anywhere near Margate on the 26-29th July, or even if you bring yourself here on purpose, we would love to see you. We are right next to the Barbers on Hawley Street just two doors down from Morrisons and opposite the old town. There will be work to see, some to buy, and all started with a Thursday late night opening where we might even have something to feed and water you with. See you soon!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Back to Barrow! Further workshops @ Signal Films

This month I'm heading back to Cumbria to hold some more workshops with Signal Films and their creative heritage project - The Cooke's department store. Before, we worked on the computers and in dry art materials. This time I'm keen to get the participants messy with some screen printing practice, and use some of the shapes and images we discussed first time around to decorate a textile or to make an art print.

I love the idea of linking the function of what we print on, to the store itself. Perhaps some adverts that would have looked at home in the front windows, or a shopping bag that can reference the retail history of Cooke's. With a bit of graphic design plotting and some cleverly cut stencils it's got all the potential to look really good!

If you would like to know more about Signal Films and the hard work they are putting in to reviving this building, then check out their website and that of the project. And of course if you are any where near Abbey Road, Barrow, then stop in and see what we're up to!