I'm often asked where I work and it seems greedy to say I have two studios in my garden, but I do. Please don't call them 'sheds' - sheds are what you get in B&Q, throw up in a day and pull down in a year. These are purpose built workshop grade studios, insulated, heated, sturdy, long lasting with electricity and hot & cold running water - into a sink, not the walls! I've had Blue Box Studio for 14 years, from a cold, wet Winter's day in January 2001 - for my new life post-redundancy. Back then I made sterling silver jewellery and worked with gemstones. Now it is my glass studio. It's moved home with me 3 times and cost me more in removal charges than it would have cost to buy a new one - except they don't make them like that any more. It's quality is miles ahead of the green studio, I doubt that'll stand 15 years.
Is it big?
Well, my ex-textile studio is pretty big. Now I use it for cleaning and sorting my beads and general faffing. If I could get t'internet out that far, so far Netgear have failed to sell me anything that will actually extend the range more than a few inches ontop of what I already have, I'd be out there a lot more.
What about the other one, the blue one?
Ah, it's tiny. 7 feet x 5 feet and not very tall (but neither am I). Sitting at my bench I can reach my glass rods on the left, the kiln and my coffee cup on the right and the light switch behind without actually getting up. Handy when you are mid-bead. I like it, it suits me.
And here it is - I can't actually get far enough from any wall to take a decent photograph, so this is what you get. It really is tiny. But it's mine, with an ipod dock, heat, light and far enough from the house that a phone wouldn't get the signal from the base unit. On a good day even Vodafone doesn't get this far down the end of the garden. Neither do couriers.
Is the garden big - or long?
No. But walking down a drive, round the front of the green studio and along to the end of the garden is a tricky route, clearly satnav is needed for the journey. Or they can't read the A4 poster on the front door that explains where I am hiding.
Don't you miss going out to work?
Do I miss the hour's commute each way, the extortionate charge for the Park & Ride bus, office politics, the cold, wet wait for the bus that is running over an hour late for a service that runs every 12 minutes, the road closure so I can't even get back to my car - or get a bus home, the M5 car park in the summer with accidents and caravans?
Not on your Nelly! Like many artists, I'd rather be poorer but happier. Me and the car can become 'old bangers' together.