We continue our tour of the Foto/Fiber 2012 artists’ studios with Sue Bleiweiss, artist and author. Sue works primarily in fiber. But if you visit her blog, you will find her use of fiber includes wall art, sculpture, and book art. It’s a delight to feature Sue’s studio as she recently completed a custom build, shares the result on a video (link below), and gives us some tips on planning for a new studio. I have to say that Sue’s studio is basically the studio I dream about having!
1. How do you find/make time to be in your studio?
It’s actually a rare day that I’m not in the studio!
2. Describe your studio in five words.
Spacious, bright, organized, custom built, perfect. You can take a video tour of my studio here.
3. If you could pick only one thing from your studio to represent your art practice, what would it be?
Well if you’re referring to a particular tool or supply it would probably be my bolt of Mistyfuse because it plays such a pivotal role in all my fiber art work.
****A small detail (including a sushi roll of dyed cheesecloth and hand-dyed fabric) of one of Sue’s three BONUSES items for Foto/Fiber 2012 on February 15 and 16. All the BONUSES will be mailed directly to you in a 6×9″ padded envelope. This is the size envelope in which a CD fits nicely. 100% of your donation for Foto/Fiber 2012 is made directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart for A Cause. ****
4. What is the best/worst space you have ever had as a studio?
Well, I have to say that the best space is definitely the one that I have now! My old space was the spare bedroom which served me well for many many years. While it wasn’t really a bad space, it was small and cramped making it difficult to work on large or more than one project at a time.
5. What would make a “dream studio” for you?
I absolutely love my studio and wouldn’t change a thing but if I was dreaming about a new one it would be one built into a mountain side with views that stretch for miles.
6. What would you advise someone setting up a studio for the first time?
Start with a wish list! Sit down and make a list of all the techniques that you use in your work and what each requires as far as space, supplies and equipment. This list should include everything that your dream studio should have regardless of practicality or feasibility. That’s the point of a wish list! The list becomes an invaluable tool and guide once you start moving into (or in my case building) your studio. One of the most important lessons that I learned throughout the process of building my studio was that you have to be flexible, patient and you must expect to make changes to your original plans along the way.
7. Any unique features/studio pets you would like to share?
I have two furry studio assistants who are with me in the studio every day: Nina (a cocker spaniel) and Sherri (a shephard lab mix) both were adopted from local rescue organizations.
They each have their own pillows to lounge on in the studio.
One of the handiest features in my studio are the retractable hanging cords that hang from the center beam and they’re great. I like them because if I have a lot of people in the studio working I don’t have to worry about extension cords laying on the floor for people (or the dogs!) to trip over. I also had them wire all the outlets in the room to a master switch so that when I leave the room and flip the switch all the electricity to the room is cut off. No more worrying about whether or not I left something plugged in!
8. Any new exhibits or projects we should know about?
I am a 2012 Niche Award finalist in the fiber decorative category for my silk vessel “curves” seen on the front page of my website.