A Space of One’s Own: Jenny

‘I’m a really creative person and I absolutely love the Arts and Crafts movement.  Unfortunately, there is no way I could afford to live in an Arts and Crafts house, so I decided that my craftroom should reflect that period.  I set myself a brief; I had to have lots of storage space for those things that I don’t really need but just cannot throw out!  I also wanted a large area that I could spread out in and a bookcase but above all I just had to have a settle.  No Arts and Crafts interior is complete without this item of furniture.  Much as I love that era, I couldn’t build my craftroom without using modern-day power tools and mdf!  I made some scale drawings and a little model so I could get a feel of the space I wanted to create.

I built a raised platform in half of the room that would house my storage needs underneath and then built my settle and bookcase to sit on top.  This is my chill out zone where I sit with a coffee and take a break from painting or crafting.  The other half of the room is my work zone with my desk and modern-day equipment like my printers and laptop.  I simply cannot work without music, so my radio and CDs sit above my desk with all my brushes and tools in little pots.  I’m a total clutter-bug so I like to surround myself with trinkets and ornaments.  I like to surround myself with people who inspire me; an Aubrey Beardsley picture in a 1930s frame, a cut-out of Frank Lloyd Wright, a William Morris tile, a little model of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House, postcards by Edward Burne-Jones, C.F.A Voysey, I just need stuff like that surrounding me.

In 2018 I started volunteering at the David Parr House and I never expected exactly how much that place and that man would inspire me.  It has been a never-ending source of inspiration for me and at Christmas time I made some David Parr inspired Christmas tree ornaments; gilded paterae, crackers, a banner with ‘Silent Night’ calligraphy and glittering peacock feathers.  I absolutely adore peacocks and I have what I call ‘peacock corner’ in my craft room next to my settle!

The David Parr House has a recreation of a floorcloth that forms a beautiful runner for the staircase.  I made my floorcloth from canvas and stencilled an art nouveau pattern on it by Rene Beauclair.  I still have much do in my craftroom; a pressed tin ceiling and a hand painted frieze but for now I am very content in this little space of my own.’