Re: gathering info about studios

Deanna Johnson

What is the size of your studio
Is it part of the house structure
If it is not part of the house structure -- what type of structure is
used for the studio?
Elizabeth, you sure hit on a sensitive issue for me!

My "loom room" is currently a spare bedroom that is 10.5' by 14'. In it, I have a wall of shelves, plus one bookshelf on an adjacent wall, a 48" 16 H AVL, a filing cabinet and a cone tree. The room is stuffed - I can walk around one side of the loom, assuming I don't leave any boxes or bags of extra stuff on the floor. I have just barely enough room to use the spool rack. I have a Louet Magic Dobby in the corner of our home office downstairs, and a table loom on a stand in the area between the living room and dining room, with my spinning wheel in a corner of the family room.

My family really covets the spare bedroom, though - my DH would like to put a Murphy bed in there for guests, and have a "game" room for the kids. Up until recently, I didn't use the AVL enough to justify the space. For a while, I figured if it didn't sell, that when my oldest son leaves for college in two years, I could confiscate his room, which is much larger than the loom room. But, DH has designs on that room too - he would like to move the weight machine, exercise bike and treadmill in there. (They're in the garage right now.) We've added on to the house once already (for the home office and oldest son's bedroom) and have no more space to build, so adding a studio space onto the house isn't an option.

I'm a software engineer who has worked for several dot com companies. When things were looking rosie and I thought my stock options would be more than bathroom wallpaper, I fantasized about renting studio space somewhere. For several years, everywhere I went, I would eye places and think "wow, that would make a great studio." My fondest wish was to find some property and build a portable building like the schools use in this area. (My youngest son's elementary school has some great permanent "portable" buildings that would make a perfect studio.) Unfortunately, I discovered that one of those would cost a minimum of about $25,000, and since I live in southern CA, the property to put it on would be exhorbitant. This also means that even renting studio space would be prohibitively expensive for someone like me - basically a hobby weaver.

I've tried using some space at a friend's house - I currently have a Baby Wolf rented from my guild and my horizontal warping reel in a friend's weaving loft. It's nice, and fun to weave with someone else, but...... it's a pain to have to drive 20-30 minutes to get there when I want to weave, and it's an upstairs loft with no AC. The fans helps some, but it can still get uncomfortably warm. I'm sure it will be better in the fall, but I'm still glad I didn't move the AVL over there.

So for now, I move stuff out of the way in the loom room when I want to use the AVL, and then put it back when I'm done. I've put the Louet up for sale too - as wonderful as those 24 shafts are, it's really more like a table loom - good for experimenting but not for any heavy, long term use.

What would my ideal situation be? To have my fiber books and yarns and a small loom and a reading chair on one side of the spare bedroom. And to have a studio space somewhere close by, not more than a 10 minute drive away. Or to live somewhere that you can afford to have enough property that you could build a studio in the back yard. And I'd like to keep the AVL and the Louet and maybe add a Megado loom to the collection.

But the reality is....the stock options *are* wallpaper and I don't live in a place where I can afford an outside studio. So I keep dreaming and scheming. :-) And everywhere I go, I subconsciously evaluate the spaces I see as to how good a weaving studio they would make.


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