Purple Twig has a different feel when its full of students and families all experiencing making art together and those times when the studio is quiet and empty of bodies.
I opened my doors to the Purple Twig in Los Angeles, CA in the neighborhood of Eagle Rock 6 years ago and it has gone through some wonderful changes since then, artwork has filled the walls, donations of materials from our incredible families has filled our shelves and students have filled our chairs.
I thought it would be nice to share some images of our studio with you. Creating a space that is warm, welcoming and one that will inspire discussion, curiosity and a sense of freedom is important to the process of exploring materials and ideas.
The studio is in a neighborhood that is very family friendly and is accessible from many different neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
Sometimes artwork spills out onto the sidewalks, onto the trees and telephone polls and into nearby alleys. We do like to utilize the neighborhood for displaying our works. This is a piece that was created in our Textile Summer Camp, where students wove fabrics into the cardboard after painting onto it. Luckily most of our business neighbors are accommodating to our works of art.
My desk is the first thing people see when they walk in. It gives me a place to look official and busy even if I am just reading some article from the newspaper off my computer. I bought it at a garage sale along with my vintage, it actually might be an antique now, cash register.
Our studio is divided into two spaces using the shelves of supplies at a separator. The front room is used for our toddler classes and the younger groups during our camps.
We offer smocks to our kids and families. Kids can have anxiety about getting in trouble for getting their clothes dirty. The last thing we want is anxiety inhibiting students from making choices in their methods of creating artworks.
We offer students the freedom to use anything on these shelves during open studio on Saturdays. We may have some examples of ways to use the materials out on tables so that kids understand that they are allowed to push their ideas in art making during this time, but for the most part kids are eager to get their hands on the materials to make things.
We are lucky enough to have a lot of our families donate materials to us, from mint tins, to egg cartons, to wine corks to these Japanese flipflop tops. The kids always find a way to use what we give them.
Our story carpet is an important part of the studio. We use it to read to the younger children to help them with their verbal skills and to inspire their artworks. For our Toddler Classes we will choose a book to read that is linked to the art project we are about to embark on. It's a way of instilling the idea of research at a young age. During our camps it is an important area for kids to relax, talk, read and play games when taking a break from art making.
These sinks can be such a thrill to the toddlers that come into the studio. Having sinks their size is another way to let children know that this is a safe place for them where their needs are considered.
Many little ones may spend most of their time on the first day in our studio at these sinks, squealing with delight and washing anything they can get their hands on.
We also have a back space in the studio for our older students during both after school classes and camps. We offer clip boards to each of our students to keep their drawings on during the week long camps. It's another way to keep the studio organized, because we do a lot of drawing during our camps. It's such an important way to allow kids to develop both hand-writing skills, drawing skills and their own ideas.
We have more materials donning our shelves in the back part of our studio. We pack them in baskets, vintage pots , glass jars found at thrift stores and even drawers pulled from vintage furniture. We use what we find whether it be materials or containers.
Our students are really what keep our space feeling creative, warm and full of vitality. The children, whether age 2 or age 10 are really up for exploring whatever materials and projects I offer them. It's such pleasure to watch and participate in.