Studio Panorama

There is a lot to be desired for my little studio (more natural light, wall space to hang work, less clutter) but I have grown really fond of it. And having an intern here for three weeks (thanks Megan Welch!) and preparing for the last film shoot for The Papermaker’s Studio Guide were two great incentives to clean it up! Now if only I can manage to keep it clean. This will be my challenge!

Ian Lucero was here yesterday, filming the instructional video that captures the written instructions in my book, The Papermaker’s Companion, in real time. I have this garage door which I can roll open when the weather is nice. As you can see, it wasn’t so nice yesterday…

My studio is in a detached garage behind my house. Thankfully, nobody ever used it as a garage (which is quite common in Portland) so all I had to do when I moved in was blow insulation into the walls, run water and gas out from the house and add a bit more electrical power.

I have a Davis Hodges Hollander beater, a Howard Clark press and I built my drying system myself. Many parts of my studio fold up and tuck away, like the Ikea laundry racks, which I use to dry my felts. People always ask me where to get good felts, and they are hard to come by! Mine came from a paper mill here in Oregon. The first time they turned on the papermaking machine, it snapped and was rendered useless. An acquaintance acquired the entire felt, rolled it out on his street and cut it into pieces. I was the lucky recipient of my own set cut to size!


Thankfully, the grade of the garage takes the water I spill (and dump) onto the floor out the door to a nearby drain. I reserve the back half of the space for a dry work area.
What are your favorite studio tidbits?

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I’m Helen Hiebert!

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