Recently I have been enjoying visiting local antique shops. I have been thinking about analog living, and perhaps I am pining for a time when daily household objects were not made of plastic. I am inspired by my daughter who has been working on a school project called “The Living Museum”, where they will be dressing up in the style of the 1920’s and presenting research projects on that era. We had to seek out a flapper type dress and hat for her presentation. We have also been watching this fun series on Netflix, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, which also takes place in the 1920’s. I appreciate the quality and care in the materials made from this time period, and I think on that time right before television sets were in every house, and radios, cars, and airplanes were new and novel technologies. So when I was in need of searching for a closet or case of some kind for my over flow art and my art supplies, I decided to search out a unique and antique storage solution.
On one of the few warm and sunny days in early April, I happened upon this fantastic old blanket dresser from the early 19th century at the Windham Antique Center in Bellows Falls, VT. The top opens out on a hinge to store larger blankets, and then there are two smaller drawers below. This particular piece was already finished, cleaned, and restored. Some creative types enjoy restoring furniture but I for one do not, so I was glad this one was already in a finished condition. The top part that was to hold the blanket was absolutely perfect for the majority of my painting supplies. I was able to place boxes inside that hold my acrylic paints, watercolors, some rags, and paintbrushes. My inks sit nicely next to those boxes, and you can see a small shelf where my Dr. Martin dropper inks fit perfectly. I am not quite sure what the original purpose of that shelf might have been.
In the two drawers beneath I was able to put papers that I am working on or are finished. The first drawer holds my handmade papers. Some of these items I am working on- so they are in process, or they are scraps that I will then use to work on other projects. Under that drawer, I placed watercolor paintings I have finished. Having drawers like this gives me a useful place to store finished items, and it is easy to sort through and see what I have to work with. Before I purchased this wonderful piece of antique furniture, I had work crammed into two portfolios that were stuffed behind the couch. All my art supplies were falling out of baskets I had stuffed under my desk. Organizing one’s creative materials is an important step, and simplifies and streamlines the creative process. Plus, this piece of furniture makes a wonderful addition to the decor in our living space (yes, my art studio is now in our living space! More on that another time.)
I can see myself searching out a few more storage solution items, in particular I am looking for some old style crates that I can use for display in my upcoming spring studio tour, and my fall showing at the Squam Art Fair. These antique items add interest and texture to the entire creative process.