My New Studio

I’m part-way through the big move and it’s glorious. Twice the space, two walls for my own artwork and plenty of room for inspiration images too. A full set of windows, with a door that opens to a first floor balcony. In the evenings the sun sets to the right and casts golden light onto my glass art desk.

Carpet protects the floor boards and keeps me happy as I’m always barefoot here. I’ve claimed this red wool coat for art as I wanted something warm but with a little more romance than my practical camping gear. When I need to step into another world I set myself up on the floor with my brushes and a cushion and a cup of herbal tea. It’s essential to create divisions between admin and art, even between craft and art.

I do most of my study for public health here now, and I’m continuing to explore the monsters that sometimes wait for me here, and the nature of safety in a creative space. It’s complex and fruitful. Several times recently I’ve had bad experiences and run to the studio as a refuge. It’s never been that reliable for me but it’s emerging as a place my heart is at ease. There’s still monsters some days but I’m learning to check in before I get too naked and vulnerable. Some days are for craft, sorting, cleaning, the joy of using my hands. The monsters will devour me whole if I try anything else. Some days I can strip off and find that wild place, the other world, where the poetry lives. I’m learning to pick the difference, and that’s making me stronger.

Photos of the Studio and Dread Art!

Hard work is happening to get our studio ready in time for our first client booked in next week, and I’ve been asked to share photos. 🙂 I just delivered the chairs today, the paint work is almost finished now, we just need to add a final coat to the purple walls – it’s a very dark colour so inclined to look patchy unless we really stack on the coats of paint. I’m alternately really excited and inspired about it all, and overwhelmed with anxiety and dread. Working hard on dealing with that.

One unexpected upside has been that now that I know I have a studio to display my work, I’ve been so excited about art again and making lots of things in my studio! It’s by far the most effective technique I’ve ever tried in dealing with feeling blocked creatively. That’s such a wonderful bonus for all the stress of setting this up. 🙂


Our lovely display for beads – some of us love to decorate our dreads 🙂


Our new chair for clients! I’m in love with it. Can’t you just see yourself relaxing in this while henna or inks are done?


I told you I loved this chair. You can see our gorgeous purple walls here – one more coat to go hopefully!


Dreading chairs! Adjustable heights, as comfortable and friendly on backs and joints as we could find.


Dread Art! I stitched this little bead sleave last night, and I love it.


More dread art! These little wire dread coils are gorgeous! I made this myself, using copper wire, Swarovski crystals, and a beautiful paua shell button from New Zealand.


A second handmade dread coil I’ve created, this one is a bit finer for my little dreads. 🙂


I bought this beautiful tree on the drive back from my friend’s funeral. It’s going to hang on the studio wall and be a little reminder of her.


The studio room, coming along.


Close up of a couple of beads – I’m sourcing all of these extremely carefully. Did you know that eBay has a warning about ‘Tibetan Silver’ beads? I didn’t! The term is unregulated so it means any silver coloured alloy. Some have been tested and found to contain lead, or arsenic! Wow. So, only sterling silver/quality natural ingredient beads will be sold from this studio. These are hand carved wooden skull beads.


The body art chair and a lovely ergonomic stool, for the artist.


We’re very excited about this beautiful huge mirror and can’t wait to hang it!


We now have a big supply of synthetic hair for natural coloured extensions


And some really cool colours too.