Workshops of the World (WOW) allows an unstyled, casual peek into the working lives and spaces of artists; as the title suggests, from around the world. The two co-founders Deb Jones and Christine Cholewa are glass artists living in Adelaide and working from a shared church-turned-studio called Gate8. In WOW they have created a space where other makers (or voyeurs) can check out studio set ups, connect with a community, or just drool over scenic locations and workshop machinery. The site is a simple, light on text and drives you directly to makers individual websites for more information about what they make rather than the environment they make in.
To view the workshops for yourself or make a submission visit workshopsoftheworld.com
LOL: What’s your favourite part of peeking into other artists’ workshops?
WOW: The whole idea for the project came about when we were thinking about our own studio and looking at various images online of workshop spaces. We made some comment about how great it would be to have a web page with heaps of different workshop spaces on it from all over the place so you can check out how other people set up their spaces for making.
We like the idea of being inspired by other people; to see how planned a space can be or how crazy. How big, how small, and just what you decide to do with the space you’ve got to make a great workshop space.
LOL: As an artist yourself you must have visited many makers in their
studios. What workshop has inspired you the most?
WOW: (Christine) I think for me it was the Blue Pony. The Blue Pony was a studio in Adelaide that ran from 1996 to 2011. The old building that it was in, the artists in the studio and the artwork that was produced was really inspirational. It made me think I need a studio space. But I love visiting people’s workshops, seeing what they make and where they make it – quilts, furniture, graphics, it’s all making and I think I can relate to people that way.
LOL: How have you been sourcing studios?
WOW: So far WOW is being promoted by word of mouth. We have sent out an email to our contacts, asking people to check it out and share it around. Anyone can put a workshop on the website, there is a submissions page with all the info you need. Everyone with a workshop can join, doesn’t matter what you make. That’s our goal.
LOL: You’ve been running your solo practice and your collaborative
practice with Deb Jones (CHEB) from Gate8 workshop for the past 4
years, what are the advantages of sharing a studio?
WOW: Sharing a studio is a good way to share resources – you can pool equipment to get a great workshop together, share the responsibilities of running a workshop and you don’t get lonely. And it’s essential to have people around at end of the day to have a beer with.
LOL: There are 6 of you at Gate 8 and unlike many other studios you
don’t all just share a workshop, you host open days, exhibit as a
group and share machinery. What is the secret to the success of Gate
WOW: That’s true. At Gate 8 we are a bit like an art family and generally we all get along. We make a considered effort to support each other’s practice, and ideas for the workshop.
LOL: What’s your own dream workshop?
WOW: Well, that all depends on what we are making. Right now it’s pretty good, a workshop that’s close to home, set up to make glass, stone, wood, concrete, sewing – and filled with mates. Maybe we’re livin’ the dream.