Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where Do You Want the Piano, Lady?

June has been nuts. Not cashews, walnuts and pistachios; way too much stuff to do crammed into too few days. There have been 5 fiber-related events during the 4 weekends in June, along with two graduations and a trip to Oregon. The events have been:

June 5--Spinning at the Winery fiber picnic
June 6--Grad school graduation exercises
June 10--High School I teach at graduation exercises
June 12--Spinning at the Farm fiber picnic
June 16--Leave for Eugene, Oregon
June 17-20--Black Sheep Gathering
June 21--Arrive back from Eugene
June 26--Spinning demonstration at San Francisco's Exploratorium museum
June 27--Spindles & Flyers guild meeting; Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival

All of them have been fun, and a lovely way to shift gears from teacher to fiber artist, but the studio has suffered...badly. I haven't been home enough to put away things that didn't get put away during the school year, and it seemed that I dragged home more fiber and equipment from nearly every single event. The past several days have been devoted to bringing order to my corner of chaos, and I made a big discovery:

There is a limit to what I can fit in the studio.

That brings me back to my header. At CNCH in April, I ordered a 16-shaft, 20" wide Pioneer loom. I took a good look at them at CNCH, and was impressed by the quality construction, the size, and the fact that, with 16 shafts, I could weave some pretty elaborate small projects and samples. The loom--after some travails including FedEX dropping it several times--arrived on June 4. I barely had time to uncrate my new toy before the round of fiber festivals and events started, so it sat on the dining room table for nearly 4 weeks until I could get a small table and move it up to the studio.

Once I took some measurements, I realized that the only place the new table and loom would fit was where 2 file cabinets have been for years. No problem--just move the file cabinets. But where? If I moved the small chest of drawers full of art supplies next to the storage closet, I might have room for the file cabinets. But where should I put the chest of drawers, as it's too big to fit under the table? I did a bit of rearranging in the laundry room, and moved it out next to its twin, also full of art supplies; problem solved. Once the chest of drawers was moved out of the way, it was relatively easy to move the big loom, move the worktable into the place where the loom was, move the loom where the work table was, then maneuver the file cabinets to their new spot. I assembled the new table and we carried the new loom up the stairs and into the studio. Job finished!

Or not. I got a new set of combs, a set of Peter Teal 5-pitch English combs. I've wanted a set of Teal's combs for years--they're about 50% larger than my Indigo Hound combs, so I can comb more each time. They're also beautiful. The only problem: they don't fit on the IKEA "sawhorse." The combing "pad" puts the stationary comb too high for easy combing, and the wide base is too wide for the top of the sawhorse. The two-shelf bookcase is just the right height, but the drum carder is on one, and the other is over a bit too far to make carding easy. Or is it? I measured everything, and by moving one of the bookcases across the studio to a place next to the file cabinets, there was a place to clamp the combs, with plenty of room to swing a 1.5-lb comb with very long spikes. The drum carder was clamped to the other bookcase, and is now in front of the window air-conditioner, but I think it's low enough to not interfere with the A/C. The space left by the moving the bookcase quickly filled with 8 boxes of fleece, but the door to the storage closet is no longer blocked. I moved my little spinning chair out in favor of a larger kitchen chair that is the right height for both spinning and weaving on the Pioneer loom.

I think the studio will work in its new configuration. I did some spinning this evening (yes, I even managed to fit my Sonata in the studio) and I had enough room to do long draw. The big loom is unfolded and there's enough room to weave. I have enough room on the worktable for 3 computers (2 laptops and my netbook), the printer, my ball winder, and swift. One thing I don't have any more room for is more stuff--this is going to have to be "it" until I get rid of something, such as 2 file cabinets.