I am seriously considering renting a studio space to work out of. So much so that I had to write a pro/con list for it. Thoughts?
Renting a studio space…pros and cons:
This is specifically about spaces available a couple miles from my apartment. They are not terribly expensive compared to other ones available, but would be a significant business expense since I need a space with a sink and solid (non carpeted) floor. I would be looking to use the space as follows:
-large sturdy table with hot plates or a way to heat canning pots to boiling for long periods.
-Space for a drying rack.
-Additional table space for sorting fiber, getting orders ready/packaging, taking photos on for yarn and fiber, etc.
-Storage or shelves for dyes and mordants, dye stock books, stock solutions, etc. Plus additional storage space to store raw, in progress, finished, and items for sale in different bins and space for office and shipping supplies. Some of this could be under tables if water didn’t drip down in to bins.
-Ability to hang some yarns and fibers up for show would be helpful.
-Space for drum carder on rolling cart, spinning wheel, and chair(s).
- Would get the dyes and pots out of my kitchen (which is open and where you enter the apartment), and the drying fiber and yarn out of my bathtub (bonus: not dyeing bathtub on accident when rinsing fiber!).
- Not having to put away all the fiber, yarn, and shipping supplies as often. This is especially an issue with fiber and yarns, which often make the living room dusty and fuzzy faster! Also would make it easier to have people over since there wouldn’t be (as much anyways) fiber and yarn on all.the.surfaces.all.the.time.
-Wouldn’t worry so much about spilling dyes or water and dyeing my cabinets or carpet funny colors.
-no cat! Joey is a lovely cat, but very distracting at times. He does know not to eat the yarn though!
-Ability to do more cold water mordanting (no space in kitchen now).
-Being around other people- some of the places are open on art walks. Also would be nice if there was space to be able to display *some* of the yarns and fiber so people can come in and look. I am not open to the public now since it feels weird to let people come over and look through giant tubs of yarn in my house. Even if I kept some materials here and took them over as needed there would be extra storage space- not a huge issue right now since I live alone.
-Can dye in greater quantity/have more drying space/etc.
-Can bike or ride bus there. My favorite grocery store and my gym are between my apartment and the studio too.
-Working out of the house more (and seeing other people) would be helpful for setting a schedule. As it is right now it can be really hard to get to work when there are dishes in the sinks (which prevents rinsing fiber in them) or other things to do- like go to the coffee shop. Again.
-Expensive. Not hugely, but studio spaces are not cheap either.
-Internet not included in utilities cost for most places- I need internet for 25-50% of my work, like listing items, website stuff, marketing, etc. This could be done from my house though, but it might be tricky for shipping things since I like to print postage online and don’t necessarily want to have to schlep yarn and fiber back and forth. Internet would cost 50-60 extra.
-Would have to change business address AGAIN, and get (more/different) insurance.
-Utilities would no longer include renewable energy.
-Only cold water in utility sinks.
-Wouldn’t be home or at the studio all the time to accept packages. Not as much of an issue at the apartment usually since there is a manager to accept packages most of the time.
-Co-op spaces with shared gallery and work space (which are sometimes cheaper or have more contact with people) are not practical for me since I deal with wet fiber and yarn, dyes, etc.
- Dye space probably could not function as office space or teaching space as the space would be small (100-200 sq ft usually), making enough seating for several people hard, and the humidity even with a dehumidifier might be hard on office equipment (and possibly on the drum carder and wheel?).
-I would need new equipment- dehumidifier and/or fans, additional drying racks (currently just have one for dyeing and one for clothes that is often used for dying), table(s), hot plates to heat canning pots or pref. larger pots, water extractor or spin dryer, shelving and/or display racks for yarn, etc.
-It takes two buses to get there- at 2 miles it is just enough of a pain to walk there in the winter, and bike riding isn’t always possible- I do have hybrid tires on my bike though!
-Moving or buying a house could make the studio unaffordable or not practical (I have a great deal on rent right now). On the other hand, if I did move within Seattle and it was still affordable, it would save me changing the business address again in the future, and it does mean I need somewhat less living and storage space (I would be buying a condo, so still not a lot of space there). Fiber is bulky!