Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Birth of a Basketry Studio

Sure, weaving baskets is very cool... It's an unusual hobby, even more so as a profession, and when told what I do, people sometimes act like they've just met an anachronism. But, it's not all good...let me tell you how uncool it is to live with basket weaving.

Without a studio space, my home has been a living hell for years. Basketry is messy and doesn't belong in the house, but that's where I've been doing it. It's a disaster. With materials disorganized and in every room, except my son's. There's been no place to relax and get away from work.

I've had space available, but it's been buried under a lot of crap for the past 5 years. I am serious when I say buried. I turned into a packrat, but I'll let that indictment go for now, because I'm doing a great job of changing all that. The space in the photo was, at one time, heaped, with only a narrow space to reach the stairs going into my house. As you can see, I'm close to my first goal of an empty space that I can clean and paint before moving in every last piece of reed, tools, assorted materials and work furniture.

The room is long and narrow - about half of it is on the other side of the camera. In the back corner of the room in the photo is the door to a smaller studio space - a converted storage shed where basketry materials have tended to languish for up to 5 years, because the shed is too far from the sun room in my house where I've been weaving. I tend to forget what is there, while some of the supplies in the house get buried and forgotten as well. I have become somewhat appalled with the realization that I've been carrying on activities in my house that belong in a rustic workshop.

I am so thankful for Craigslist and Freecycle. I managed to get rid of all the huge stuff that was in my way - including a pile of 111 ceramic floor tiles, a bulky storage cabinet, camping tent, propane heaters, lanterns, campstove and a lot of other things that have faded in memory. I made a little extra cash off the tiles and heaters - which is great since I lost my backup job 2 weeks ago.

AND, I am excited about this new space - or old about to be made into new. It becomes closer to reality every day, as more stuff is carried away, thrown away or put away. It's not a pipe dream anymore - I'm actually doing it - setting up that studio. Brings me closer to that peaceful home on the other side of the door. It will happen...