Friday, January 3, 2014

New StudiO After!!

Hurray! Finally, here are the photos of my new studio space! 

I moved, downsized many things, repainted all most all of the furniture into a newly painted space...repaint, refresh, renew. I have only moved my studio 4 times in the 20+ years I have been a dollmaker.  First from our house since we moved from suburban to urban, then from a workshop-quiet to Pearl Street- more shops - more activity...and now to urban and quiet. Kind of a mix of all three!

I am on the second floor of this building (renovated Victorian). It houses only businesses, in total three. 
Up the stairs to the landing, you will find my sign (and my protege Simone) on this day welcoming you!

So, where am I in my my soul...after being on Pearl for 15-some years?
Those past 15 years were of strong, brazen, pushing to create. No time for a breath or even to reflect. Totally my own doing, I feel I needed to create at this self-induced frantic pace to learn and understand my art.

And now, I can see (feel) the beginning of this new path of not only understanding my art, but myself.  It must evolve on its own without being directed and impatiently plotted out.
As I began to unpack, I realized that many of the things I brought with me did not have a place in this new space or new path. "Where are all the dolls"? many have asked. I wanted to intentionally give an openness, a lightness, to create visual space so new can be welcomed and discovered.

Design area. 

I love having the space on the work breathe. I repainted the worktable substructure and put new handles on the drawers. Also used my curtains from the old studio and just hemmed them with a two-foot hem, so they can be re-used if I ever have longer windows in the future.


Storage shelf. 

Even went through my shelves to have the things that are used and not just stuffed into a corner. I found with the quick pace of the last 15 years, I gave myself no time to mindfully clear out things from class kits and one of a kind projects. This lead to things being jammed into boxes and not seen until quite recently.  ok- still need to go through my fabrics and I will!

Sewing area. 

Since moving in, that next week I left for CA to teach, then got back to have some private students, unpacked and finished up. Then off to Mexico for a much needed vacation, and back with more private students and the Holidays! other words, I have only sewn one project in this area, so it will probably need some tweaking- overall I am happy with it. And I have many commissions yet to fill- I haven't forgotten about you! xoxox.

I also love my aprons hanging next to my sewing table.

Even Issy has found her own place, next to the sunny windows.


Office area.

Here I have a refurbished desk Mark got for me. The top was originally a cherry wood-color. I painted it a soft white, along with the filing cabinet top.
The pictures on the wall are of Japanese thread samples that I matted onto a chirimen woven silk and framed. The picket fence is from the old studio repainted from green to grey. I thought grey was such a popular color that I could find it in a spray paint. After three stores, Mark suggested using primer! And that is just what I did. I like that the spray paint allows the patina of the original paint(s) to show through.

Library. (better known as bookshelves)

Facing across from my desk are my beloved books. I put my Asian book right at eye level, so when I look up from my computer those are the books I see. I would eventually like to get a chair to put in the space where the (recovered) bench sits.

Private Bath.

 Out the office door across the hall is my own private bathroom! Like that!

Do you remember my inspiration tea towel? This is where all my color inspiration came from. I basically went white, grey, and charcoal- clean palette- open to other colors.


I love this room, I have my fridge, microwave, and this great utility sink in there! Mark also cut down my work bench that shelves my drills, tools, and mold making supplies. It now fits perfectly on the wall across from the sink. In this room, my painter ended up being only able to paint the trim since the walls are of an oil base. I think it worked out perfectly. I trimmed out the shelves with the same pink paint.
The veg-head series of dolls hang above the work bench.

A lucky and historical find.

I was at Denver Fabrics during my move to buy farbic to recover my ironing boards and benches. As I parked, I noted that they were replacing the old sign with the new Colorado Fabrics sign. I asked what the workers what were they going to do with the old letters?? They were going to throw them away. Now this was in my clearing out I knew I didn't even want them, BUT as I walked into the store I thought "r" for ROotie...the rest, yes, is history. This little piece of nostalgia hangs in the kitchenette above my fridge.

And so, it is the New Year with a new studio 

and a new vision on the horizon.

Stayed tuned for many adventures, yet to come...


  1. Hi Les,
    Your studio looks wonderful. I wish you the best there and know that you will create beautiful dolls in the future. Looking forward to seeing them!

  2. Your studio is so inviting and I love everything about it. (I wish I could reach in and take the rabbit off of the wall. )

  3. Great studio! I'm jealous. so fresh, organized, and inspirational. Oh, for rooms to store and work in! It looks wonderful. Happy creating.

  4. I love the new studio and so happy you have an "r" from Denver Fabrics! Good timing. It was meant to be yours.

  5. Beautiful studio and soooo neat! A wonderful setting to create your amazing dolls!! I am hoping to take a class from you someday....who knows, maybe 2014 is the year!! Will continue to follow and admire your art!! Create, Create, Create!!!

  6. I have been checking in regularly, anxious to see your new studio. It's wonderful. I'm sure that you will find much creativity and inspiration in your new space. New places are so helpful for new beginnings and ideas. Congratulations on all your hard work!

  7. Great looking studio. Has everything you will need to create some beautiful things.

  8. Great looking studio. Love the space. You should be able to create some great things here!

  9. Hi there, neighbor! So great to get the inside scoop on your new studio. It is really wonderful. So YOU. We are living parallel lives it would seem. Over the past months Kathryn and I moved from Elizabeth to a little bungalow in Parker. My big country fabrication shop is now a sweet 700 sq ft studio in the basement - complete with stair lift for this aging body. So happy the spirit is still willing! We must get together soon. Love to Mark. So happy for your new space, new focus and time to think about it all. What a gift.

  10. Hi there, neighbor. So great of you to share the inside scoop on this big move. What a wonderful space. Love seeing that Rootie sign! It would seem we are living parallel lives: K and I just moved from Elizabeth to a little bungalow in Parker. Dismantled the fabrication shop and now have a sweet 700 sq ft studio in the basement - complete with stair lift for this aging body. Thank heavens the spirit is still willing! We must get together. Love to Mark. So happy for your opportunity to sort and refocus AND having the time now to think about it all. What a gift!


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