Well this Flickr group has been totally floating my boat this week! http://www.flickr.com/groups/vintage_inspired_studios/pool/
It has got me thinking about the importance of creating a harmonious space in which to work. Before I started demolishing and rebuilding my house from the inside, the only important thing seemed to be space itself, I had been so long without it I just wanted to be able to move. Now I have my wonderful loft and I am settling into the space, adding my treasured possesions, things that look or feel nice, things that evoke my memories and might just come in useful.
It is now very obvious to me that I draw more inspiration from the things within my reach and the space they are in much more than I realised. Yes I look to nature and the wider world for inspiration but it does not belong to me and isn't constant. William Holman Hunt nearly froze himself to death trying to capture the full moon's glow in the desert for 'The Light of The World'. The Pre Raphaelites worship of nature's truth meant also being a slave to it, the light, the weather, the physical limitations of temperature. (Anyone who has ever tried to photograph stuff for sale online in a UK winter will be only too aware of that!).
Nature's free will is the obvious attraction for artists - to capture the moments, but for those of us who can't always pick our moments it is nice to have things stay where they were left until we need them! I have a bad memory and a cluttered life and an uncluttered space in at least one area of my home means that I can place a button on top of a piece of fabric that occurred to me would be a nice combination, and know it will still be there to remind me when I next get back to work.
The spaces presented in this flickr group and others like it take the idea to it's logical conclusion. Many makers show in their pictures that they are inspired, not just by their materials but by their storage ideas, their furniture, the colours they choose for their decor. Why use a cardboard box or plastic bag when a pretty glass bowl sets those buttons off so much better!? The philosophy seems sound, create a sense of self in all things that surround you and your work and it is impossible to create anything that isn't loved, personal, handmade. This is the business we are in after all- do you think a vintage letterpress tray is tax deductable? :)
You can see the rest of the pics I've uploaded on our flickr page.