Making Space

Welcome to a new week! With five days ahead of me that hold unknown promises (and also the occasional let-down), I like to think of Monday as a fresh start or a renewal of the business-y aspects of my world. This “renewal” can include anything from writing those emails I never got around to last Friday to brainstorming and sketching a burgeoning creative endeavor. Most often, though, I use the fresh start of Monday to make space, whether in my brain or in my studio (though I’m generally more successful with the latter).

Making space has been a personal priority for as long as I can remember. There are a handful of rooms – well, really closets – and corners of my childhood home that I tackled with swaths of fabric, knick knacks, and tiny lamps in an attempt to transform them from what they really were (a tiny, awkwardly-shaped closet) into my enchanting “chill space.” While those were relatively short-lived, I have continued to make spaces in which I can do a more current version of chilling: creating things.

I recently embarked upon a pretty major and satisfying adventure: a cross-country move from Fort Collins, Colorado to Brooklyn, New York. For me, a move like this entails hauling not only regular things; like clothes, shoes, and jewelry; but also my studio things, the items that I use to make my creative space. I was fortunate enough to find a fantastic studio space in Brooklyn, and as I continue to organize and reorganize this space, I keep thinking about what it takes to make a space that works for creativity. This is the the third studio space that I have used in the last year, and I thought I would share with you the different ways that I have made my space and how I’ve attempted to adapt to the characteristics of each studio, all in the pursuit of making the space mine!

There are a few key things that feature prominently in any of my studio spaces:

thread

Loads of thread in lots of bright colors

scissors and sharpies

I could never have enough sharpies, and the same goes for scissors (fabric and paper).

whites

Piles of plain fabrics ready to be rocked by pattern.

chips

Paint color chips that I use to mock up palettes and match dye colors.

treats

And, of course, delicious dark chocolate for those stressful and/or crave-laden moments and tea for the mornings and sleepy afternoons.

My studio space in Fort Collins (at Colorado State University) was huge when compared to Brooklyn spaces! I spent three and a half years making this space, often changing things as the semesters passed. I made the space so that I was surrounded by color and pattern and special little objects.

corner

The corner near my desk, where I kept all aforementioned items (the chocolate was especially close-definitely less than arm's reach!)

books and ideas

Books - another necessity in my spaces - and ideas, swatches, and a comfy spot.

yarn

An assortment of yarns for weaving, knitting, or just oggling.

rolls

Rolls of my printed fabrics, so that I can see where I've been and where I want to go next.

body

A dress form for those moments when I need to be very serious.

I got to spend last summer in good old Ann Arbor, where I worked in a backyard shed on the west side. The studio was steamy but calm, and it was an interesting challenge to make the space work for my needs. I also found out about the wonders of Blue House during this time, which made everything that much better!

shed1

My makeshift desk area and garden view windows.

studio view

The view from my studio - lush, green, Michigan summer garden.

print close

Making work in my newly-made space.

flags

Layers and layers - using what the space has to offer.

After my last semester in Colorado, I moved to Brooklyn, where I work in a shared space with six other amazing artists/thinkers. I’m still in the process of making my own semi-private space here.

gallery

You're welcomed into the space by a shared gallery, recently adorned with art from an after-school program.

oak knit

We are lucky to have a lot of open space, beautiful lighting, and high, airy ceilings.

studes

My personal studio space. The white walls just beg to be plastered with color and pattern!

cubes

More limited personal space here requires tighter organization, and I always like to surround myself with things that could inspire new ideas.

library

Our shared library/lounge space is perfect for enjoying a cup of tea (and some chocolate!) and letting new ideas percolate.

Now that I’ve made my space here, there’s no telling what will come next from the big city!

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About whitney crutchfield

I'm a textile designer, artist, and intern extraordinaire giving it a shot in the big city. I like to look at things and watch people. You might find me toiling away on a new design in my Brooklyn studio, embarrassingly chuckling at NPR guests as I fiddle with things in the craft room of a certain lifestyle company, salivating while staring at the pie shop that sits below my bedroom window, or dodging doggy poo on a run in Prospect Park. www.whitneycrutchfield.com
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5 Responses to Making Space

  1. Isn’t it amazing what kind of creativity chocolate can jumpstart? One of my fav fuels!
    Love your new work area-I need to do a little revising of my own. Thanx for the tour.

  2. ashley...again says:

    I love seeing creative spaces – can’t wait to hear more about what comes out of there.

  3. Dang Amanda says:

    Hi Whitney! Great post! I’m excited to read about the New York art adventures you’ve got going on. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. marcy says:

    congrats on your move, whitney! i’m so happy to learn that you are a fellow scissors hoarder!

  5. whitneycrutchfield says:

    Thanks, ladies! I’m very much looking forward to lots of new creative adventures here!

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