Preparing for open studios: Part one – A few tips on what you need to know if you’re doing open studios for the first time…
When I signed up for my very first Open Studios back in 2014, I had the opportunity to share with another artist who was well established in her practice and a veteran when it came to open studios. I had no idea what was involved, so for a first timer like me, the decision to collaborate with another artist was the best thing I could have done! Not only did I get lots of support preparing for the exhibition, it also meant that when the public visited our studio, they would have the benefit of seeing a much larger variety of work by two artists.
I’ve always found that art lovers will want to chat to you about your process, use of materials, your influences and the inspiration behind your work, so engaging with your visitors and being able to talk about your work is a huge part of opening your studio. Having a work-in-progress on display is a good talking point, as you can demonstrate the art of mosaic whilst talking about your methods. It’s a good idea to have an area set up so that people can have a go at creating a mosaic themselves, as this will enrich the experience of visitors to your studio and makes it more memorable. Setting up a table with some mosaic materials and glue is particularly popular with children and adults alike, as well as a great way to encourage bookings for future workshops.
Visitors to my studio often comment on my collection of vintage crockery and mid-century ceramics, as they are reminded of many a china tea service from their childhood. This can spark up some fascinating conversations, full of nostalgia, when they recognise some of the colours and patterns from a bygone era. A commission for a mosaic sculpture can be the result of one of these conversations and that’s why these face-to-face interactions during open studios are so valuable. As part of the collaborative process, I encourage my clients to bring any sentimental crockery of their own, that I can incorporate into their piece.
Part two coming soon!!!