I’m not buying into the current trendy Kondo cleaning Thing. “Sparking joy” is not my objective, unless it relates to me having space to work in again, with things i am going to use. I’m also quite ambivalent about the “treasuring” things as we get rid of them, thanking them for their having been made and for their use: let’s face it, most of us have mass produced, soul-less gadgets that really have no “spirit”. I really don’t give a good god damn that someone invented a spatula, it was made, and it was used………………………. However, if i am looking at a well crafted truly hand made item, or a good book, that might be a place to be grateful for what i have.
Cleaning out a house is one thing; cleaning a studio is quite another puddle of fish. As suspicious and skeptical as i am about the value of “new” “Products”, i *did* buy into that at one time IN MY STUDIO. (See my previous post about not buying into mass consumerism, and a long view of “hoarding”.) I blame the internet 🙂 Before the web was so prevalent in our lives, we only heard of certain things if a friend (who had heard it from a friend who had heard it from another friend who knew so and so) told us about it. Suddenly, with the web, if you didn’t have that friend in Real Life, you probably had a blogging friend who waxed rhapsodic about it. What a rabbit hole!!!!!!!!!!!! Because of the internet, i also found the shelves of mixed media magazines or books on the way down. (By the way, Cloth Paper Scissors folded at the end of 2018. While i hadn’t bought an issue for the last 5 years, i was/am grateful for a publication that *did* spark joy with its perspective on looking at materials in unique ways.)
Almost overnight, my work space was full of buckets of rusty bits, piles of pretty papers, fancy stabilizers, paper “substitutes” (tyvek, lutrador, interfacing, tissue paper), “mark making tools”, “found objects” (bags of dried tropical seed pods from the home decor section, interesting metal and wood shapes from the hardware store, bits of computers and technical equipment saved by the dear Greyman, and on and on and on……) and too many books. There IS such a thing as too many books, when you realize a lot of them are rehashes of what you already have.
Greyman and i however had some major moves between provinces and parts of provinces that involved islands, so a lot of it had to go then. When you have only yourself and the SO and one truck to pack in one shot, you start choosing more carefully what is Important. Even so, once your self and SO has settled into the house your cold dead bodies will be pried out of, you tend to accumulate again. It’s a cycle that is hard to break: you might “need” something, so better buy it now. (Again, i am speaking of Studio Stuff, not general household items.)
Here’s the perfect example. We had just moved in the month before, and i was ecstatic that i had all this room.
This is what 10 years does to a studio space. A couple of weeks ago, it looked like this:
We had to cut almost 3 feet off that table at one point so i could get more stuff in……. I wish i’d kept the three feet, and not got all the other crap!
I find this quite funny now (click on photo to see the point):
I LOVE Princess Auto, a Canadian chain that has a fantastic surplus section, and is actually a quite inspiring artist mecca for basics. I bought my dyer’s neoprene gloves there for 390% less than a major industrial supplier (i kid you not: 390 per cent less.) I could go on and on about the wonderful items i’ve bought there, but will stick to the subject 🙂 Before i started being successful with naturally dyed threads, i had shitloads of commercially dyed embroidery flosses, and thinking i was doing myself a favour, bought all those parts cabinets that were Just Perfect For Sorting Threads By Colour. Oh it looked so Studio Perfect!
HOWEVER. Notice how much space that “organizing” took up?
All those threads are now in one spot (again, click on the photo):
(HA, minus the ones in the 4 drawered cabinet under the table. Next on the list!) I’m selling the cabinets on the neighbourhood buy/sell/swap page 🙂 Also, HALF of the stuff that was up there is now divided into 3 piles: donate to thrift shop, donate to kids after school program, throw in garbage or recycle bins.
I haven’t been able to spend a full day clearing every area of my work space. I literally get bogged down, tired and frustrated, so i’ve been doing a section at a time. I figure by the end of February it’ll be done. AND there is NO new stuff coming in. Today, i will do another small section, then spend the rest of the afternoon STITCHING 🙂