Creative Workspaces #3

I asked some more artists and writers to tell me a bit about their desks and studios…





“My priorities were possibly skewed when I assigned the last corner of my small boat to my 70s bar, rather than acquiring a fit to purpose desk. However, necessity is the darling of inspiration and I have recently discovered that with a couple of cunning adjustments – largely placing a chair in front of it – I have transformed said furniture into a fully functional bar-bureau, and can happily write there, against a backdrop of novelty martini and babysham glasses and a quarter bottle of Smirnoff. Desolation at my novel’s progress has yet to lead me to consumption of the vodka, so I can presume it’s going OK.”

Ellis' desk


John Plowman


Wellingore, Lincolnshire

“My history is my studio.

My studio is my sculpture.

My sculpture is my studio.

My studio is my history.”

You can find out more about John’s work on his website.

John Plowman's workspace


Lizzy Huthwaite



“My workspace is shared with my boyfriend’s record label, MIE. Which means we’re regularly buried under cardboard boxes. If I panned to the other side of the room you’d see a wall of vinyl.

My desk is a lovely ercol one, with a great surface area for spreading out on. My cutting mat doubles as a mouse mat and I stash all of my art kit in the shelves behind me. My pin board is a mix of photos and postcards, the latter from my buddy in Minnesota.

We’re pretty tucked away in North London and it’s nice to look down over the terraces when I’m working and still be able to spot the London skyline in the distance.

Oh and the hairy plant is called Old Man’s Beard! Pretty fitting.”

You can find Lizzy’s work on her website and follow her on Twitter @bizzyhuthers

Lizzy Huthwaite's desk


Nicola Streeten

Graphic novelist and illustrator


“I work on a small scale and like the succinctness and functionality of my current workspace in Brighton and the mix in with my domestic living. I hand draw and colour and use a lightbox, tablet, scanner and computer as part of my process. The proximity of the bed is important because I am also working on a phd thesis, so that’s where the cerebral stuff takes place.”

Nicola is a founder of the excellent Laydeez Do Comics and graphic novel retreats. You can find her on Twitter @NicolaStreeten 

Nicola Streeten's desk


Simon Kirkham



“I’ve been nurturing the ability to write from anywhere for a while now. We all need an anchored spot to return to and mine is music. If I’ve got a laptop and headphones then I’m set.  When I desperately need to switch into writing mode I play the Album ‘Drift’ by Nosaj Thing – I’ve been using this trigger successfully for two or three years, it feels personal sharing it with you, just like a space. ”

Simon Kirkham's desk


Erinna Mettler



“When I was asked to do this my desk had just been tidied and was completely clear and black. I don’t often have a tidy desk. I left it for a week to get back to its natural state. I primarily write short stories; even my novel – Starlings – was a daisy-chain narrative, as a result I am often writing more than one story at once. I have a list of stories out on submission on the wall in front of me so I can cross them off as they are rejected or (much less frequently) accepted. Sometimes I write rude things on it about my rejecters, it depends on how vulnerable I’m feeling. I face a wall with postcards of The Great Gatsby and The Glass Menagerie (to remind me of what I should aspire to) and Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell (mainly for the title). A window would be too distracting but I have a photograph my husband took of The West Pier and when I look at it I can smell the sea. Smells often accompany my memories – this is very useful when I’m writing. I have headphones because whenI’m working I’ll listen to music relevant to what I’m writing about. There are also postcards and mementos from places I have visited and loved, Tuscany, New York, Mexico and France. I can see myself living in all of these places and I have written about all of them. On the desk are sculptures of The Green Man by my son and a Buddha he painted, a pile of books I’m reading, or should be reading and a printer, because I constantly print and edit my writing using coloured pens. I try to write 2,000 words a day but it was a lot easier before Twitter.”

You can distract Erinna further by following her on Twitter @ErinnaMettler Check out her website here.

Erinna Mettler's desk


Carolyn Jones

Jewellery maker

Southern Shores of Lake Michigan

“I adore this desk. My mom bought it for me as a birthday gift last summer. All of its drawers and cubby holes are stuffed with notes, sea glass, wire, tools and other jewelry making and art supplies. The space is decorated with pictures and art (most of it from vacations), and a small copy of a photo of my dad’s grandparents that was taken about 100 years ago.

One of the things I love about sea glass is that it’s old – it takes at least 50 years for an ocean or a large lake to round the edges of a piece of broken glass and frost the surface. It seems appropriate to make jewelry from those old pieces of glass at an old desk, in the sun room of a 70 year-old house, with my great grandparents watching over me.

And a bit about my torch station:
I finally got brave enough to buy a torch a few years ago, so I could expand my jewelry beyond wire wrapping. A friend gave me this 1940s era stove, which is probably the only place I’d ever feel safe enough to light a butane torch (even a little one) in the house! I’m still practicing (the house is still standing), and I began making gemstone stacking rings this year.”

You can find Carolyn’s jewellery on Etsy and follow her on Twitter @GoofySeaGlass


Carolyn Jones' workspace

One Response to “Creative Workspaces #3”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] And thank you to Alexis Somerville for including my workspace in her piece about creative spaces on her blog […]

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