The Great Studio Purge of 2006

Between exams, the holidays, and general malaise, it’s been over three weeks since I’ve been in the studio to work. Add to that the general clutter and overwhelming disorder in the entire place, with the studio one of the worst areas, something had to be done. We started on Christmas Eve with some general cleaning in the main areas of the house, spent some time working on our bedroom, and at least tidied up the kitchen.

I thought I was ready to tackle the studio on Thursday, but when I walked in I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t cope. I walked out and crawled under the quilt on the sofa, with Donovan purring on my lap, until DH got home. With about a half hour’s help from him, we cleared enough room to at least let me get a start. No, I have no “before” picture — I don’t want any reminder of the starting point!
The process has not been without some serious anxiety and a small panic attack or two, because so much of my past is linked to my art, particularly the textiles. I had to consciously understand some things before I could start a full-scale purge:

  1. Being owned by your “stuff,” rather than owning it, is a real drag on the psyche AND on your creativity.
  2. I am never going to be a tapestry weaver. Never. So the tapestry loom, equipment, and tapestry yarns can go to a new home.
  3. I don’t need a charka. I loathe spinning cotton, on anything (unless it’s blended at least half-and-half with silk). So the charka and cotton fiber can go to a new home as well.
  4. There’s no reason to keep not-handspun knitting yarn on hand if you are never, ever going to knit and if you can give it to a knitting friend in return for her knitting you some socks from your handspun. Socks are the only thing I’ve ever had any desire to knit, and I’m not interested in going through the learning curve to do so. So the knitting yarn can go to my geeky/crafty sister-in-spirit, who will use it.
  5. Jaggerspun Zephyr yarn IS worth keeping — highly fondleable wool/silk in luscious colors is the stuff I’m most likely to ever want to weave with again. Most of the rest of the weaving yarn is just taking up real estate, sucking energy (or maybe radiating stored negative energy still) and keeping me tied to my past…so it needs to go. IF I ever want to weave something else again, I will just buy the yarn for that project — a small price to pay for letting go of a huge mental/emotional ball and chain.
  6. You can have too many drop spindles, so why keep the ones you don’t like and use?
  7. Reference and swatch notebooks can be stored up in the attic if you’re not ready to let them go. If you need one, go up in the attic and pull it out of the box.
  8. Clear floor space is a good thing.
  9. A good light makes all the difference in the world! We brought home a torchiere lamp last night and put it in there — oh, WOW!

So a bunch of stuff is out of the studio ready to find a new home, and more is on the way out. I already have room for my new jewelry mini-workbench, and I’m able to start consolidating some of the excess spillage-out from other areas of the house into its proper home.

There’s still a good ways to go, but I can once again stand to go into the studio, and am pretty excited about getting to actually use it productively and creatively!

1 comment

    • Usagiweaver on January 2, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Damn, girl. Do you think you could come to my house and show me how to let go of things?

    I was actually thinking the other day about whether I was ever *really* going to use that loom again and that I could probably get at least $3k if I sold it and all the bits and pieces. About the only thing I ever really wove is dishtowels. And I haven’t made any new ones in… a long time. But… it’s my loom!

    It really sucks to have so much space taken up by things you keep because “some day you may need it”.

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