It didn’t dawn on us how integral the studio space was to the opening of Blackbird Pye until it was finally set up. As we were getting the framework for the business in place and generating designs and ideas to produce, our studio space flooded—forcing us to rip up the carpets and move all of the furniture, bookshelves and equipment into one cramped unusable storage room.
Nearly five months since the flood, after dealing with insurance agents, contractors, delays, multiple work crews, and after doing the electrical work alongside my father-in-law, and the floors all by myself—we were able to move the desks back in, set up the computer equipment, hang a new idea board on the wall, and get to the nitty gritty of making Blackbird Pye your favorite little design shop.
Here are some photos from the first day of setting up the studio.
The studio/office space is divided into three main sections: coming into the space one enters the super white studio area, anchored by a large stand-up desk, from Crate and Barrel (I think) which allows two or three people to stand around working on laptops or prototypes. The legs hold frequently used books and notebooks at easy reach.
There is a second sit-down desk that can be used when two of us want to work on our own, or the kids need a spot to work or play nearby. Behind the main desk is a narrow worktop, underneath the white board, that can be used for quick cutting on mats. It’s a well-used IKEA shelf turned on its side.
Next to that is the multifunction inkjet printer sitting on top of a plastic 5-drawer flat file. It’s a decent legal-sized HP printer, but a tabloid-sized printer is on the short list. Next to the printer is one of the keys to our existence, a 24” Copam vinyl cutter. This is what we use to cut the masks that we sandblast in order to etch our designs into a substrate.
Our designs are either drawn on paper and scanned in; or drawn on the computer with either a graphic tablet, or created with vector shapes in Illustrator. Future blog posts will discuss our techniques in greater detail, but those images are cleaned up in Photoshop then converted to a format that can be used by the vinyl cutter.
Next to the studio space is the lounge, with a wide low sofa, a Swedish-designed modern (OK, IKEA again…) chair and ottoman, across from a Vizio TV. It’s used primarily for unwinding to repeat episodes of Game of Thrones.
The other side of the lounge is the library. One extra deep, and three standard, ceiling high, dark wood bookshelves will hold our art books, travel guides, field guides, atlases, and our favorite novels.
These are the shelves, still in their post-flood storage room setting, where everything else was also stored and packed like a moving van. I'm waiting to install the shoe molding on the perimeter of the new flooring before I move them, something I should have done before I started setting up the space—but we really wanted our space back!
But all in all we now have a gorgeous studio, and the space to work with our ideas—without having to move everything off the table for dinner. In our renewed environment we are now moving Blackbird Pye forward in much greater spirits and comfort.