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  • Writer's pictureBen Fearnside

'Where did I put it?' A tour of a working studio

So this is me and where I work. I'm an abstract artist using metals and mixed materials. So its vital to have a safe and structured working space, with everything organised and in its place. Welcome to a tour of my studio!

In winter its brass-monkey cold, in summer its molten hot. I can’t get a mobile phone signal. The carpet is covered in snags of silver and gold leaf, and the dust can give you heavy-metal poisoning. But it is at the bottom of my garden... and where it all happens.

I’ve usually got various paintings around the place. One wall (photo above) is for new ideas. The opposite wall (photo below) is for ‘dead paintings’, the canvases that didn’t quite make it but could be cut up for something else. I think the threat encourages new paintings to Start Talkin’.

In between are the works in progress. I have to work flat with the powdered or liquid metals. The easels are mostly for propping things up and thinking-at.

My working bench (below) only has the things I need immediately. I can't stand clutter.

Behind the easels there’s a giant extractor fan. I work with some toxic and stinky chemicals and this beauty is powerful enough to suck the ceiling down.

The shelves (below) are methodically stacked with stray metalwork animals, plaster of Paris, gesso, emulsion, Hammerite, Marmite, nail-varnish, a blender, wood stains, sharpies, feathers, a fire-extinguisher and things other serious artists would be ashamed to mention much less paint with.

The one thing I don’t have in my workshop is a rubber (or eraser if you’re a perverse American). My work is all about commitment!

So that's my studio. Structured, tidy, safe and clean, with everything in its place.

Now, where did I put the pencil?


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