My studio is located in an artist’s coop in an industrial building at the edge of Washington, DC. It is around 700 square feet, with 14-foot ceilings and seven large windows along one side. It has friendly artists down the hall, along with nonworking radiators and air conditioning, malfunctioning lights, and broken windows. It is a wonderful space regardless of the problems that come with an old building and “as-is” space. I try to go there every day because, to paraphrase the painter Phillip Guston, “I have to be there in case the muse shows up.”
I have a big table (8 by 8 feet), lots of small tables, a storage area where I keep “the collection of the artist” rolled up in muslin bags. There are bookcases filled with plastic boxes of my handdyed and printed fabrics organized by color—sort of. And big window ledges displaying my favorite odds-and-ends and inspirational materials, from the dollhouse sewing machine of my childhood to a carved Australian lizard. There’s a sink and worktables in the wide hallway just outside the studio for immersion dyeing and other activities that have to be kept out of the studio. Besides the large space, wonderful light, and multiple pinup walls, I love being in a community of artists of all media (who often provide very interesting critiques that don’t involve discussing technique). Another plus is the community outside the building, with a post office, restaurants, craft stores, etc., that satisfy my urban desires and provide destinations for necessary breaks from intense studio work.
Dominie Nash, Stills From a Life 27, 2006; cotton, silk organza; machine appliqué, quilting, multiple surface-design processes; 82 1/2" x 82 1/2" x 1/4". Photo: Mark Gulezian, Quicksilver.
Dominie Nash was profiled in Fiberarts in our November/December 2004 issue. Website: www.dominienash.com.