Our customer Max Ryan came to us for the design and build of an arts studio for her business (Studio 61) where she teaches a variety of art classes and also offers a picture framing & photography service from her garden cabin in Frome, Somerset.
The building we designed is a large log cabin (9m wide x 4m deep) with a pitch roof, constructed in solid 70mm timber walls. The building is further insulated in the roof & floor, making it warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Three skylight windows were incorporated in to the design for direct overhead light and two very attractive open trusses give a light and airy interior feel. Furthermore, two internal rooms, were built in to the design, one for a cloakroom & the other for an office space.
Here we talk to Max about her background in the arts and her exciting new business venture.
What is your background in the arts?
I am originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands and came to England to attend university in Bristol. After completing an Art Foundation, I studied Ceramics gaining a Diploma and then a first Degree in Film and Moving Image. Initially I worked in the Film Industry but after a few years completed a Post Graduate course in Teaching. As a qualified Design and Technology and Art Teacher I taught in Wiltshire and at Dauntsey’s School for the past 11 years.
What is Studio 61? Where is it? And how did it come to be?
Studio 61 is my new business venture - based in my garden - from where I run my Wedding Photography, Picture Framing, Ceramic and Life Drawing Classes. Thanks to Garden Affairs it is a welcoming, beautiful, open and airy creative space for both me and my clients.
From inception to the finished space, I was supported by Garden Affairs to realise my ideal space to set up my own business. I am delighted with the studio space and keen to welcome clients to come and enjoy classes with me at Studio 61!
What do you offer at Studio 61?
I my offering a wide range of services;
Ceramic and Life Drawing Classes; I provide full tuition for complete novices interested in learning to throw and basic techniques in working in clay through to six and ten week courses. Additionally, I provide the facility to work and fire using raku clay. Life drawing classes will run weekly on a Tuesday and Thursday evening.
Wedding Photography; I offer a tailor-made service to suit individual couples requirements and have worked in the locality at venues such as Grittleton House in Wiltshire, Bovey Castle in the Dartmoor National Park, Devon, Mark in Somerset and Dauntsey’s Manor House in Wiltshire.
Photography Commissions; I am happy to take on photographic commissions to suit individual or group needs. Most recently I have completed some promotional work for White Horse Narrow Boats of Devizes and provided a record of a ‘Art in Motion’ Classic Car Festival in Wiltshire.
Framing Services; I provide a full picture framing service. All framing undertaken from individual pictures to preparation for exhibitions at reasonable prices.
What made you decide to choose a garden studio for your business rather than rent space?
A garden studio has so many advantages over a rented space. I could design my studio to suit my needs, and Garden Affairs were totally responsive to my ideas, even altering the design as the process unfolded. The commute to work and the overheads are non-existent and I am able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of my garden as I work. The final advantage is perhaps the most important, my dog, Howard, is able to join me everyday as I work!
What factors influenced the design of your building? eg: size/style/layout.
I was not sure what sort of design or layout I wanted and it is here Garden Affairs came into their own. From their wide range of buildings, I was able to quickly see what did and did not suit my needs and what sort of style I liked. I found it so much easier to actually be inside the buildings at their display centre, to feel and experience the space rather than just look in a catalogue, which had been my experience at some of the other companies I looked at. Their interest in what I wanted and the professionalism that I received made me realise these were just the sort of people I wanted to work with. This was an extremely important consideration, as I knew I would be spending a considerable sum of money on my garden studio.
Why did you choose Garden Affairs for your build?
Garden Affairs showed a real interest in what I wanted to achieve and provided a professional, personal service to meet my specific individual requirements. Nothing was too much trouble. After an initial visit to my garden I was given assistance and advice with the planning process, base construction requirements and was fully briefed about the building. Amendments were made both at the planning stage and it was not issue to amend and extend the building even after construction!
What do you feel are the main benefits to your new business space? For both you and your customers?
Studio 61 is a fantastic workspace both for my clients and myself. Garden Affairs have planned the space so I have distinct areas for all of my creative work and they thought about issues such as ventilation and light ensuring these were positioned in such as way to make the very best of the space. I love that I can work and enjoy the garden, whilst knowing my building is well constructed, insulated and secure.
What is the best thing about your new building?
The space is perfect for my new venture, Studio 61. I love it and my clients love it. I would never have come up with such a brilliant concept by myself and I am hugely grateful for the expertise and enthusiasm Garden Affairs gave to my project, thank you.
For further information or to book a class contact Max at Studio 61 on:
07917 801335/01373 451888
Studio 61: Somerset House, 61 Marston Lane, Frome, BA11 4DR.
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