One Year Along…

One Year Along…

It has been a beautiful and exciting year at Gnome Studios.

This time last year I was still designing on our sofa and making on a pop up table in the dining room. Now I sit in my studio at the bottom of the garden (as all good Gnomes do) surrounded by finished pieces, pieces drying, tubs and buckets of strange experimental aggregates, half finished prototypes and the carefully hoarded treasure of the recycling bin. In short I sit amongst the chaos of any studio like a dragon on a treasure pile...well who I am kidding….more like a Womble in a burrow! This is where old designs are reworked and refined and new designs hang in the balance between life or bin.

After the old…structure (think more permanent than a shed but less floor than an outbuilding) was cleared we began to turn it into a proper habitable room. Eviction notices were served for the inhabitants of the old structure, such descriptions as ‘rat’ and ‘spider’ don’t really convey the scale of this task- it was like The Prince’s Bride meets Lord of the Rings in there! After this we began to insulate, plaster and just generally make walls and a floor, all very essential components of a studio. After the final task of painstakingly explaining to the dogs that we had not, in fact, built a giant dog kennel for them to play in, Gnome Studios moved in.

From there things kept looking up. I was granted a suitcase pitch at The Frome Independent. If you have never been (another blog post extolling the treasures of  Frome to follow) on the first Sunday of every month from March to December the centre of this picturesque market town becomes filled with vendors selling homemade everything. From food, jewelley, homewares, textiles, cloths, treats for our furry friends, it is a carefully curated market of wonder. A celebration of independent businesses, creativity and craft, there is something for everyone at this market. It does rather remind me of the market beyond the wall in Stardust- except the magic is in the sheer talent and passion of the traders.

And lucky old me with a pitch!

The monthly market on the calendar meant that Gnome Studios had regular self imposed deadlines, and market me was a tough task master. March Market Gnome demanded that I sort out my social media in time for April, June market Gnome demanded that by the time she came around I would have a website etc. As requests from customers and feedback rolled in, the designs flowed, often too fast and in demand to make it the website!

In person collections and purchase direct from the little studio spun off the back off the market and pretty soon snowballed. I think I managed to stay on the rollercoaster till we were through December, all the while taking notes on how to stay on top for the following year. Mainly the words ‘start sooner’ written on every page.

Without a doubt, one of the best things this year was the people. My fellow artists, creatives, makers and designers have been mentors, friends, taxis and (quite literally in the case of Still Life Gin on Catherine Street) cheerful spirits on a rainy days.

 And the best till last, the customers, the viewers, the browsers, you wonderful people who engaged with my stall or website or posts. From my fellow ‘tactile’ shoppers who need to stroke things (and rightly so, I work hard for that finish!) to the people who stop to show me photos of items I have made adorning their homes (truly an honor) all the way to the people in whom I recognise my younger self. The treasure seekers who buy things for their first or new home to be lovingly stored until the day it is to be placed with care amongst the other meticulously curated objects that tell the story of them, their tastes, their personality and quirks.

To all of you, thank you for a wonderful 2023 and wishing you all health and happiness for 2024.

With love and gratitude.


Jan 2024

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