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  • Writer's pictureHilary Bravo

Settling into my new studio.

Welcome to my website blog - thoughts and processes centered around my daily working life in the studio.

I've kept a blog over on Blogger for years - rather random snippets from my general life but also quite focused on my studio work on the whole that I update when I have the time.

The essential part of even a very chaotic studio space is at least one tidy small 'office' space. Working from home suits me very well for now. It's cosy and everything is to hand including sofas, the kitchen and the garden. I also have two aged creatures to care for in the form of a very dear 14 year old Black Labrador called Bella and an even older and very magnificent cat called Fizz. They are family pets and need to be here when my children visit. I imagine they will be the last when they finally depart but who can tell. Animals have such a presence.

So this is one of the views through my studio window onto my very private and secluded garden. I like to work near to natural light if I can though with the short days of an English winter coming our way that won't always be possible.

Daylight bulbs are meant to be the answer of course but have to say that I find that particular cold light rather depressing - perhaps I'm conditioned to the golden glow of the incandescent old fashioned lightbulb. So I've gathered together a mix of cool white and golden light around me as I also need to photograph my work in daylight and have a number of LED lights to hand to brighten up an overcast day or night.

In truth I long for the light of the South of France. The light through Bonnard's window and his bleached out yet intense colour palette warms my heart and soul at any time of year.

As I'm working in a much smaller space than I'm used to and need to rethink storage. Although Ikea has been a great help for trestle tables and the very versatile Billy bookcases I need to have a rethink on general working methods in the studio.

I've been looking at beautiful craft workspaces on Japanese YouTube videos and sensing a radical change of my working methods approaching. Being a someone who loves a general scattering of chaos I shall inevitably be adapting east and west on my own terms.

Whilst unpacking I've been looking through images and older photos that I can scan to show you a few of the things that I often find I want to explore further both here in the studio and whilst out and about mooching, there's no other word for it really, following one's nose - discovering what's round the next corner. Though the French do have it naturally covered in Flâneur where it has become an art form.

Details - inspiration - French painted furniture.

Painting on top of gesso with faded gilding, cracks and flaking and old beeswax polish. Just lovely. I use all of those techniques in my one -off pieces that are to be sometimes found at some of my stockists.

I have folders of really interesting photos from various places and years ago, meant to be simply a series of aide-mémoire.

Looking at them now I can see that some were taken far too quickly. May need to go back to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in this case and take more time. So much to discover and to learn about craftsmanship in that one place alone.

About to add findings to earrings, pendants and brooches. Topping up galleries. My particular process is a real labour of love. I make a completely original handmade product. The initial concept came to me in a dream believe or not. Well yes do because it's true!

My first step is to seal the surface of the 5mm card I paint on and apply a base colour using acrylic inks - 4 - 6 layers.

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