A Peek Behind the Studio Door

The Spring 2010 issue of Studios debuts on newsstands today, so I asked Studios Editor Cate Coulacos Prato to be the guest editor for today's Quilting Daily blog post. Take it away, Cate!

Whenever I travel, I'm always taking pictures of interesting doors, doorways, gates, and arches. I'm especially intrigued by doors that are decorated and ones that offer a glimpse of what's behind them.

In art and design, a door is an opportunity: It can be a surface to be embellished, a promise of what's to come, or a way to keep something hidden.

A door can also be a useful storage, organization, or utility device, when used creatively. In the new issue, we list 101 Organization and Storage Tips, including Seven Ways to Make a Door Work for You:

  • Hang an "over the door" shelving unit to add instant storage and keep supplies in order.
  • Clear plastic shoe bags that hang on the door can be installed in seconds and are perfect for stashing yarns and rubber stamps.
  • Tack ribbon or trim to the door in a crisscross pattern to make a bulletin/inspiration board.
  • A door makes a great ironing station, especially for a small space. Check online or at your local home store for fold-down boards that attach to a door.
  • Or, turn a door into a pressing table by covering it with muslin and batting.
  • Make a worktable or cutting area out of a hollow-core door placed on top of two sets of drawers.
  • Put a door on the entrance to your studio and close it when you leave the room: Bye-bye mess!

In the current issue of Studios, you'll find some intriguing artists' doors, and in most cases, get a chance to see what's behind them.

A garden path leads to quilt artist Linda Kemshall's studio door where you can peek through a diamond-shaped window to see what's going on inside. (A lot of quilting in close quarters!)
Mixed-media artist Holly Berube  beckons visitors to stop at her studio with this door. The bright color, handmade awning, and springy décor make her entry stand out from her artist neighbors on open studios weekends.
Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson's garden studio is just steps away from her house. The glass door lets in light during the day and her family can come by and keep tabs on her, too!
Azaleas and bougainvillea welcome Josie Rodriguez as she steps from her mixed-media studio to the patio where she does her encaustic work. Josie lives in San Diego, so something's always blooming.

Art quilter Kathy York's studio is very colorful and highly organized. She uses the hidden crawl space behind this door to store bulky items, and usually covers this "hidden" door with a quilt.

To see what's behind all these doors–except for Kathy's secret cupboard, of course–check out the new issue of Studios.

Thanks, Cate! Now tell us: What's does your studio door look like? What do you use it for? What's behind it?

Cate is soliciting for quilt and fiber art studios for the fall issue of Studios. So, if you'd like to share yours, send her three lo-res images and a brief description to studios@clothpaperscissors.com.

And be sure to check out the studio video tours on the Quilting Arts Community.

Other topics you may enjoy:


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4 thoughts on “A Peek Behind the Studio Door

  1. I am always intrigued about studios and where artists work and get their inspiration. I am especially fascinated with Linda Kemshall’s space. I am especially fond of her work, and this gracious lady always answers my email!

  2. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new issue of Studios! As hard as I try, I am not naturally organized, and nowhere near neat.
    But after reading the first issue of Studios, I got my act together, and am trying to keep things where they belong. I purchased 2 antique cedar armoires (dirt cheap and beautiful, but in need of TLC at Goodwill) for storing fabric. I’ve created an eclectic display of colorful embroidery threads and antique sewing machines and irons on top of them.
    Used furniture (found at curbside and mostly matching) keeps my paints, papers, books, and other artist materials organized. Recycled kitchen cabinets support a castaway table top and hold my airbrush, fabric paints, and bead supplies. When daylight is gone from the studio windows, I replace it with several (thrift store purchased) office desk lamps at various positions. My assortment of ephemera (“Packrat Prizes”- collected at yard sales or trash-picked, ) is housed in vintage suitcases, with tags to identify contents. I invest in quality artists materials, but house them in 100% recycled storage units. They don’t mind it a bit! I can’t wait to get in there and play every chance I get.

  3. I just picked up my copy of Studios and it is my favorite issue so far. I love the Kemshalls work and so a peek into Linda’s studio was a treat. Thank you for showing studios that are do-able. While the 20’x30′ studio is a dream come true, few of us have it. So to see bedrooms, play houses, and pig stys transformed into a studio makes me look around and see what space is available that isn’t being used. Thanks!