*First published on March 5, 2016 by Jes Hooper.
For me, what started as a hobby quickly turned my already cramped bedroom into a chaotic workshop. Pine boards and huge slabs of beech were crammed under my bed, tree branch sections were drying (and often moulding) on all my shelves, and everything from wooden spoons to oak boards and various power tools were precariously stacked in piles on the floor. Essentially, everything you see in my studio pics (below) was once crammed into my bedroom.
Then there was the problem of preparing the wood- I needed space for sanding. This literally involved me chasing small sections of branch around our conservatory floor with a sander. Fun fact-I have tiny hands. Holding a piece of cross section with one hand and a sander in the other is somewhat of an advanced skill I have yet to master. One day, as I was playing tag with another piece of wood, my dad walks in and gives me a stern look -I’ve covered the entire room in a blanket of sawdust. That’s it I thought-game over. Two minuted later he comes back into the room, and nails in a make shift clamp to the floorboards to make it easier for me – yes Dad!
A week or two later, we are both lugging out the furniture, and setting up the space as my studio. It has changed my life! I can now work on large pointillism pieces which until now I was unable to do for lack of space. I can store all my tools and materials in one place. I can organise everything so I know what stock I have, what pieces I am working on, what materials need preparation, and I have areas for wood drying and oiling/waxing final pieces. Most importantly to me, my work has improved as now I have so much natural light throughout the day and I am able to unwind in the evenings free from my work.
Althought this is only a temporary studio space for me (I hope to be renting somewhere later in the summer with other wood workers but more on that another time), this space has opened up a world of possibilities for me.
So that’s my home studio in a nutshell, I hope you enjoyed the tour!