My task this week is to describe my studio/creative space.
I don’t have a studio as such, more a bunch of cubby holes where I store materials for when I decide to do that particular activity. Once, I used to do bobbin lace but gave all the boards and bobbins to a local club after the earthquakes as the clean-up then required serious decluttering.
Even in the midst of disaster Christchurch people found opportunity for art: we had the bulls on pianos, and poetry boards set up on vacant sites.
Along with them went the detritus of other attempts at creativity, such as ceramic painting although I have kept a couple of plates I finished. Where my old paint box is is a mystery and I suspect it too might have been a victim of the need to dispose of anything not strictly necessary. However, I did have a nostalgia trip when I recovered my box of coloured pencils which was lurking in the bottom of a cupboard, neglected and forlorn!
Many of them come from the Keswick Pencil Company in Cumbria where I was born, and others from an art shop in Newcastle where I was allowed to buy a couple of extra special pencils every week. I’m 68 now so you can see that they are a childhood treasure to me. They are in an ancient Nestle chocolate box; perhaps they deserve better housing?
Other pencils and tools are in the desk, perhaps the coloured pencils should join them!
My sewing, knitting and crochet materials are also tucked away in boxes in the bottom of the guest wardrobe. Alas, the sewing machine is in yet another cupboard. It’s an old, but faithful, Bernina.
Why this neglect of these things? Well, here is the corner that takes up most of my time these days. More specifically, every quarter I write and distribute an electronic family history newsletter. Now this might not strictly meet the criteria for creativity but I have never really liked the term “creative” writing because to some degree all writing is creative. My work with the family magazine involves the imaginative recreation of personalities and events, as well as the more scholarly jobs of research and reporting usually associated with these things. Large sections of the publication are devoted to encouraging personal recollections and impressions for inclusion: I have just received the account my 90 year old English cousin wrote of her visit some years ago to the Gallipoli Peninsula where so many Australian and New Zealand soldiers (the ANZACS) died in 1915. And I’ve been forced to learn about illustrations and layout as the cousin who was going to help me with this has, through no fault of his own, been unable to do very much. So there is the story behind the following photograph. I know it looks like layers of geological material but I do know where everything is!