My Washhouse Studio

Slowly my studio is coming together. Still much of my tools are just placed somewhere, and others which were placed more carefully have their position not yet tested. There is more furniture I am having my eye on (“hello, map chest”, *wink), and tools I would like (“ooh, intaglio press, you are looking good today”), and walls and shelves are missing on the wall (“electric drill, where are you hiding?!”). Still, I feel like I am getting closer to actually start working. Today I even opened my 346 file on this computer and re-acquainted myself with the problems I encountered last, and started to think about solutions.

My Washhouse Studio

And last week I participated in a workshop! It is called “Made in a Day” and was hosted by the newly founded Nottingham School of Print. To my surprise (and I must say, slight disappointment) the day was not spent with a screen, printing away, but mosly hiking through Nottingham, taking photos, sketching and writing, and generally producing the contents of a zine which was then printed on a risograph machine, and will get bound (probably stapled) this Wednesday. Despite my inital disappointment about the lack of printing, it has been a great day. I met and talked to a bunch of cool new people. And talking with Benjamin was especially interesting. Ben is one of the owners of dizzy ink, a commercial printing service which uses risograph machines to do all the jobs. (Thus the result is almost as economic in price as offset printing, but looks like – nay, rather is – a screen print.) Whether something else will come out of this contact, time will have to tell, but I have some plans…

Nottingham Canal
Nottingham Canal – one of the photos I took at the Made in a Day workshop.

The rest of the house is also getting somewhere. I have dreamed of a library / reading room for a long time, and finally it has come true. The picture below was taken several days ago. By now most books are on the shelves (just one box still unpacked) and a large chunk of books is properly sorted. We are tossing a fairly large pile of books: mostly books that we either had twice (for example breakfast for champions, unread copy; we had it twice even from the same edition), or German translations where we also have an English version (well, only translations we’re not interested in; of some works M. collects translations… I tossed for example about 15 Terry Pratchett books in German translation). If anyone is interested in a box of mixed books, all somewhere between fair and good-as-new condition, most of them in German language, feel free to contact me. I am probably going to put them on our skip, and would be happy to give them away. (You would have to cover shipping, though, if you are not collecting.

our reading room. – I should try and make some better pictures. It is a beautiful room, and it’s full of books

So, what else have I been doing apart from a one-day workshop and sorting through books? I am still pondering the question whether my new shopname/business name should be:

  • B├╝chertiger (Studio & Press / Supplies) – i.e. change nothing
  • Book Tiger (Studio & Press / Supplies) – i.e. translating
  • Wash House Studio / BookbindingSupplies – new

I lean towards the last option but still feel hesitant. Well, and then there’s this: unfortunately the contents of several boxes with files look like this:

rusty, moist and musty files

They are my transcripts from lectures I attended when studying two lives earlier. We desperately need to clear out the garage, and this is noth worth keeping anymore. Still I am not ready to let them go: I am currently scanning them all into my computer and will toss the physical copy. – And I am still busy with the first folder, several more to come.

So, yeah, that’s it pretty much. Oh, I won a yudu printing machine in an ebay auction recently. More about that, once it arrives. – I still have not worked through my backlog of blogposts. Maybe you’ll give me a brief here: What are you up to?


4 replies on “Things are slowly falling into place”

  1. Yay, for getting settled in, sorted out and starting back to work!! The studio is looking wonderful. So much lovely space!! I hope you can soon get going again on your projects. The day out sounds interesting – hope something more comes of the stuff you did and the meetings and contacts you made. I’m a bit envious of the reading room – would like one of those almost as much as I’d love a bigger studio!
    I’ve been attempting a tidy up and sort out in my own studio, though I haven’t got far. I’m trying to make more room to work in and also space for a new press/plough that I recently acquired and which is currently under my desk. Some stuff must go…but the problem is deciding what to throw out!! I’m also making stuff – mostly albums of various types, so the tidying up doesn’t last long!
    Happy settling in!

    1. Yay, indeed! Moving forced you to search through your stuff like nothing else, that’s true. When I had the very small studio, the lack of storage space forced me to re-arrange and sort through everything quite frequently, and nonetheless packing and then un-packing everything is still much more effective. A new press and plough sound great, though! Maybe that’s worth taking the time to sort out some old materials. When I have to throw out things, I usually go by age. I tossed a lot of things of which I thought I’d make books with it eventually. – If I didn’t manage to put the stuff to good use in the past 3 years, it seems unlikely I will miss it.

  2. You have made a lot of progress on the studio, that’s so great. And I like the central storage/work area. I’m trying to figure that out for myself. How much storage do I need, how much work space. Placement of tools is crucial. I like zones for different tasks, but sometimes the same tool is needed in 3 different zones.

    I have also wanted a library for a long time. We now have a wide hall, about 12 feet, that I think may become a computer/library area. It has no privacy, or I would want a guest room there. I would love to see more photos of that area, it seems like an awkward space. If you have book shelves all around would you put chairs and a lamp in the middle?

    On the name change, it seems like a hard decision. You are known as Buchertiger, are you worried about losing that name recognition? For me, I think of you as Book Tiger already, so that’s only a small change. However, I do like Wash House Studio. Then you could include photos or drawings of the wash house, some kind of story about it. It’s a vague idea. Although, should you happen to move, you might feel the need to change the name again. I suppose you could call it Hilke Kurzke’s Wash House Studio. Then the Hilke part would be permanent. Just throwing out whatever comes to mind here. I’m already seeing a carved stamp image of some knickers on a clothes line. (-; maybe not serious enough. Anyway, all good progress Hilke. You are inspiring me to get busy.

    1. Thanks for your comment and your thoughts. Mhm, I must admit I hadn’t thought about that I might move again. – A very good point. Maybe just translating would be best in the end. I am a bit unhappy with the name because I think it doesn’t sound serious enough. I chose it way back when I thought I would be making most of my money with teaching children’s bookbinding classes. But then again, it is what people already know anyway, I guess.

      A wide hallway sounds like a good place for reading. We have books on three walls (and one shelf in the middle), the fourth wall has a big window and there will be a guest bed / daybed / couch underneath (Maybe this one here: so that the room doubles as guest room and we have a space where to cuddle up for reading. I like reading in bed, and with feet off the floor. M. prefers to sit on a (comfy) chair, so we will also put one into the room. That will make it a little camped but should work well enough. – When the couch is being converted to a double be, the chair would have to go. I could make and post some more pictures when the furniture is in. For this post I wanted to show the free standing shelf beacuse this says “library” to me ­čÖé

      I am looking forward to seeing how your studio(s) will turn out. Funny that we are doing this at the same time.

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