Studio upheavals and fresh start

  • On 12th April 2017 ·
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In the last 6 months we’ve had a lot of upheaval in the studio starting with the previous management company, Process Studios, going into administration in late September.  There was a period of limbo when most residents moved out and a few of us held on in hope.

The facilities are unique in Edinburgh where there is high demand for creative work spaces.  All residents have our own personal studio space as well as 24/7 access to large shared workshops with space and equipment for various disciplines including ceramics, print, woodwork and textiles.  This makes it an ideal environment for collaboration and cross-disciplinary work.

Eventually local Arts & Education trust Out Of The Blue (OOTB) agreed to take over.  They had a lot of work to do (more than they realised!) to get the facilities up to standard and have only recently opened the studios to new residents.

Although the long period of uncertainty and the building works has been disruptive and made it hard to keep up morale, it is a pleasure to now see the excellent facilities under management of a knowledgeable and competent team.  I’m looking forward to having the studios full up with new residents and getting the buzz of creativity back.  Here’s to a fresh start!

Mask Making

  • On 25th August 2016 ·
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Still experimenting with moulding leather, I just completed my first mask.  It went through some evolution at the design stage them before becoming a black cat…

I decided to use “vinegaroon” to colour it black.  This is a mix of vinegar and steel wool which causes a chemical reaction with the tannins to turn leather black.  It can also be used to age wood.  Since it’s a chemical reaction and not a dye there is no risk of the colour coming of on the wearer’s face, though it will take a while for the smell of vinegar to fade!

Started with a simple mask and developed into something more challenging.

Started with a simple mask and developed into something more challenging.

The mask stitched and moulded, awaiting colour.

The mask stitched and moulded, awaiting colour.

Using "vinegaroon" to colour the mask black.

Using “vinegaroon” to colour the mask black.

After colouring with "vinegaroon" & rinsing, it lost shape a little so needed to go back on a form to dry.

After colouring with “vinegaroon” & rinsing, it lost shape a little so needed to go back on a form to dry.

 

Preparing for first craft fair

  • On 9th July 2016 ·
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With only 2 weeks to go until my first craft fair I developed a new range this week while experimenting with wet moulding leather.  I’m calling them Irregular Vessels:

Irregular Vessels are wet moulded leather shaped into containers of various sizes and shapes.

Irregular Vessels are wet moulded leather shaped into containers of various sizes and shapes.

I also recently made myself a leather sign for using at fairs (not bad for a first attempt at tooling!):

First attempt at leather tooling, I made a Josephine M sign to use at craft fairs.

First attempt at leather tooling, I made a Josephine M sign to use at craft fairs.

Nearly back to work

  • On 20th April 2016 ·
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Looking forward to getting back into the studio after 2 weeks of recovery from Carpal Tunnel surgery.  Still going to be taking it easy a while longer though so probably no stitching for a while.  Planning to do some pattern cutting and preparation of a few designs.