In this Open Studio Tour series, we’ll be snooping around Etsians’ creative spaces to find out the story behind the drawing table — or in this case, loom. We want to know all about our artists, and in the process, perhaps get a bit of inspiration for our own workrooms!
This time our studio tour has gone overseas to the Europe, and more precisely to northern Italy. We’re here to learn a bit more about how the woven treasuries of Mireloom come to life!
What’s your name and what kind of craft do you do?
I’m Mirella. I began as a weaver first, but a few years ago I started sewing because I love making bags and, for that, sewing is a must.
When did you decide that you needed a studio?
For the longest time I worked at home. My looms, my several kilos of wool and cotton, every kind of yarn, tools and books were such a terrible mess. Every time I needed to look for anything it was so difficult to find. Besides, my husband was getting tired of the chaos in my workroom at home!
When and how did you set up your studio?
Four years ago I decided to ask my parents to let me use their attic, even though it was already full of other things. They said yes — my parents were so happy to have me closer. There is only one problem with this location: the cold in winter!
How big is your studio?
The entire attic is about 700 square feet, but my working area is about 300, which is enough for my looms, shelves and a big table.
Which is your favorite tool in your studio?
My eight treadles loom…it is a beauty!
Do you want to share with us one secret of your studio?
The secret is my feeling of complete freedom when I am in my studio, where I can do everything I love — it’s my kingdom! And since it is in the attic there are a lot of family treasuries to discover, hidden amongst everything.
How many hours do you normally spend in your studio?
I am in the studio between four to seven hours per day, and I would like to stay there longer, but family time often has priority.
Do you share your studio with someone or would you like to do so?
Sometimes one of my friends comes by and brings her work to do. I love to have company, but the most of time I’m alone.
Is there anything you would add to your working space?
First of all a heating system, and then a little powder room. But I also dream of a studio with a gorgeous view of my land — at the moment I only have roof windows.
If you had to choose one synonym for your studio which one would you pick: atelier, family room, lair, lodge, nest, playroom, retreat, sanctuary, shelter, darkroom or showroom, and why?
As I said before, my studio is my kingdom, but nest is really the right word to call it!
And last but not least, how often do you clean it?
Ah this is a difficult question to answer! I normally make mountains of wool balls and fabrics while working. When it becomes very difficult to find anything inside those mountains, I devote a day to clean and tidy up my space. This happens normally once a week.
Anything else you want to add, or is there a question I didn’t ask that you wanted to answer?
I first fell in love with weaving when I was a girl, back in the ’70s. Even though I have a degree in theatre with a thesis in anthropology, weaving was always in my heart. The first thing I did after graduation was to
enroll in a weaving school — my parents were not so happy with that idea. I had chosen an uncertain future (read: not so much money!), but to this day I have never regretted that decision.
Thank you, Mirella. Until the next studio snoop, ciao!