So I thought for my second post, and continuing with the theme of introducing myself, I would show you some of my favourite things that I use to create my pieces. Everything is kept in my studio. I love my little studio and I will give you a proper tour of it at some point (when its a bit tidier!) I like to experiment with lots of different ways of working. It helps being an Art teacher as you have to be prepared to teach anything from ceramics and printmaking to textiles and everything in between. I therefore have knowledge in lots of different areas and my studio reflects this. I’m not quite sure how I fit everything in! If you have seen my shop you will see I mostly work with drawing, collage, watercolour and embroidery at the moment so those are some of the things I will share with you first.
So this is my desk and main work space. It is always covered in everything so I usually end up working on my knee! On my desk I usually have lots of collage papers and books which I also use in collages, as well as some scrap paper for jotting down ideas; I have several pots of pens and pencils. The tins in the top left are actually part of a game I made for my wedding but I have re-purposed them! There is my filofax which I adore and keeps me organised; one of my many sketchbooks; my stamps; my Instant and of course the obligatory mug of tea – I wouldn’t get anything done without it!
My favourite pen is this silver one. I have been using these pens since I was in Sixth form so that’s getting on for nearly 10 years! I love the weight on line it gives and the flow of ink. It’s what I use to illustrate all my pieces with. I also keep a selection of pencils and some biros to hand, as well as a collection of paintbrushes (which are all filthy as I’m lazy and never clean them). I use biros quite a lot but it usually is which ever I happen to find first. I’m surprisingly not picky about them (unless they clump).
I love my stamps. I have had them for a few years now and I keep them in a cute vintage style mint tin. It makes them difficult to find sometimes but I haven’t lost any yet! I have another alphabet that is made up of various vintage style letters but these ones here are my favourites. I also have some stamps for cards and some patterned ones for adding cute stitch like detail to pieces. The ink pad I have had since uni so again its nearly 10 years old. I have no idea how it still has ink in it!
These are my watercolours and watercolour pencils. The watercolours as you can see look fairly well used. I think I got these when I was doing my GCSEs. They didn’t get much use for many years but recently I have come to love them. They go with me whenever I go travelling as they are a really nice compact size. The pencils are new. My brother got me these as a Christmas present. I’ve only used them a couple of times but I love them. They are lovely to use and produce a good colour when water is added. I can’t wait to do some more pieces with them soon! I also have a set of pencil crayons and my coloured pens. These probably don’t get as much use as they should but they are so pretty!
So this is some of my collection of papers. I have an unhealthy obsession with paper and find it very difficult to walk past a set of beautiful papers and not buy them! Each tray contains 2 different themes of paper. They currently live on the floor as I have no space for them at the moment. I really need a better organisation system for them but I’ve not been able to find a) one big enough and b) one that doesn’t cost the earth. So this set up will have to do for now. I can just about find everything when I need it.
I also have a bit of a thing for sketchbooks. This is my current stash of them that I am using. I have an A3 one with white paper for larger drawings; a watercolour paper one for small watercolours; an A4 white paper one for smaller drawings and quotes; a square white paper one, which was a freebie (perk of being head of Art) I really like the paper in it though and its proving good for smaller drawings that will be cut out and collaged later on; a 30x30cm sqaure brown kraft paper one, because sometimes its nice to work on kraft paper; the one with the writing on the front is my journal sketchbook. I take this travelling with me and use it to document my travels and experiences. It contains photos, sketches, quotes, tickets, ideas…my life basically…I have been doing these type of sketchbooks (part scrapbook, part journal, part sketchbook) since University and love looking back through them; The final sketchbook is currently empty. I loved the cover so bought it, but have not got around to using it yet.
And finally, these are my cameras (I didn’t include my bridge camera though). I have had my Diana Mini for a few years now. I love lomography (if you’ve not heard of it go here.) It is a genre of photography using plastic cameras and encourages you to use your camera and film in experimental ways. My Diana comes with me on my travels too. Its such a fun camera to use. When taking pictures I don’t think too much, just click, and I love seeing the results a few weeks later. Its a great surprise! My Instant is fairly new. I got it for my birthday last year. It has been with me on my travels around Europe (yes I took 3 cameras with me) last summer and when I have been away with friends. It’s really fun to use and I have found I’ve remembered the moment I captured a lot clearer than when I’ve used my normal digital camera. The only downside is the film is very expensive so I have to limit myself.
The other main tools that I use are my laptop and sewing machine, but I will talk about them more when I show you the studio. So that’s my introduction to the things I use to make. What are your favourite things to use to make?