It's with much excitement that I launch Studio Space, a monthly post featuring the studio of another artist/creative. I'm so inspired by other people's workspaces and would like to investigate how a space can influence creatives' artwork and practice. It's also fun taking a close look at the work of others and getting to peek into their life/space/work, so I figure other people will like to see this stuff too. 

What better place to start the series than with a fellow screen printer who's also based in West Footscray, the lovely Leslie of Maze & Vale. Leslie's studio is a former hairdresser, complete with an old trough that is perfect for washing screens, and she moved in about 1.5 years ago.

Looking into the Maze & Vale studio from the entrance. The old hairdresser trough is perfect for washing screens. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Looking into the Maze & Vale studio from the entrance. The old hairdresser trough is perfect for washing screens. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Leslie's background is in graphic design and she has a passion for textiles. She previously created quilts, toys and more under the name onegirl designwrks. In 2011, Leslie decided to make a sideways jump and started designing and screen printing her own fabric, and she hasn't looked back. 

Leslie now sells her fabric (and printing kits and more) online and at select design and quilting markets. She also holds screen printing, block printing and quilting workshops at her studio and teaches classes for The Craft Sessions and Work-Room Melbourne. 

There's also a wee interview with Leslie further down but first, here are the photos I took of the Maze & Vale studio space.

One of Leslie's beautiful freeform quilts. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

One of Leslie's beautiful freeform quilts. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

So many beautiful colours. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

So many beautiful colours. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Pegboard excellence. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Pegboard excellence. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Lots of inks. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Lots of inks. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Colours and more colours. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Colours and more colours. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

The printing table and dropcloth. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

The printing table and dropcloth. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Dropcloth close-up. Previous dropcloth pieces are available to buy from the Maze  & Vale shop. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Dropcloth close-up. Previous dropcloth pieces are available to buy from the Maze  & Vale shop. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Leslie hard at work cleaning a screen in the old hairdresser wash trough. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Leslie hard at work cleaning a screen in the old hairdresser wash trough. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Fabric, fabric and more fabric. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Fabric, fabric and more fabric. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Clothpot kits - you can buy these from the Maze & Vale website. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Clothpot kits - you can buy these from the Maze & Vale website. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Fabulous succulent hanging all the way down the front window. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Fabulous succulent hanging all the way down the front window. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

The studio's exterior. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

The studio's exterior. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

How many hours a week do you spend in your studio?

It really depends - I work around my kids’ schedules. Some weeks I might only spend a few hours in the studio and do what work I can at home but a normal week, I probably spend about 20 hours there. In the weeks leading up to a market that number usually doubles.

What's your favourite thing about the space?

The light is a huge bonus feature. It makes taking product shots really easy, but my favourite thing is my four meter long printing table. Small by professional screen printing standards, it works well for me and also gives me the space to spread out when I’m putting together kits or basting a quilt.

How, if at all, has being in this space influenced your work?

Having great light available has definitely improved my photography and made my Instagram stream more uniform, which strangely pleases me. Having a bigger print table allows me to be more productive during studio time.

What would your dream workspace look like?

My dream workspace would be a custom built space at home, ideally on a first floor with a bush or ocean view. About 60-80 square meters with bright white walls, worn wooden floors, maybe some exposed brick or beams, a pitched roof and huge windows perfectly placed to get the best light. It would be big enough to have both my printing and sewing/quilting equipment set up in their own areas and plenty of storage space… Sigh, so nice to dream!

Which other creatives are you influenced by?

Oh so many! Lately, I’m really inspired by the patchwork/quilting of Anna FaragoSeason EvansMaura Grace Ambrose and Meg Callahan, and the painting of Julian MeagerStephen Baker and Tiel Seivl-Keevers.

See more of Leslie and Maze & Vale:

Maze & Vale Shop

Etsy Shop

Workshops

Instagram

Facebook

I hope you liked this first instalment of Studio Space. It sure was fun for me to begin this project, and super inspiring - visiting Leslie's studio and looking at some of her beautiful freeform quilts made me want to go and sew one myself right away.

And don't forget to follow Studio Space on Instagram @studiospace_ #hellostudiospace. Thanks!

 

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