Studio or shop?

When I first began making furniture, I called my workspace a shop. I grew up in a shop. I always thought of a place that contained tools and in which work was done as a shop. Studios were what photographers and painters had.

Later on when I was really thinking about my image, I wanted to differentiate myself from cabinetmakers. I was a furniture maker and it seemed appropriate that I work in a studio. I even called my business Studios DeCristoforo. That turned out to be not the best choice because everyone thought Studios was my first name.

In the late 80’s I got into making high end cabinets and, somehow, I ended up back in a shop again. There was no question about this. It really was a shop and not a studio. It didn’t have a showroom or even an office. I dropped the studios thing altogether, thinking that some day I would get back into more artistic woodworking. That someday took a long time to arrive. And it took a form that has come as something of a surprise as I get more involved with artistic turned objects and farther away from the heavy lifting of cabinetmaking.

Right now I have both a shop and a studio. The shop is where it has been for many years but right now, with the economy in the doldrums, it’s a bit quieter than it normally is. My studio is in my backyard where I can go to indulge myself in the creation of relatively useless but beautiful (or so I am told) objects that could only be produced in a studio. But I don’t think I’ll call myself Studios again…



  • MC says:

    It’s funny you write on this subject that I also have trouble with and probably most gifted craftsmen.First,you need to determine what constitutes art for you.For me,art is any craft that a person puts their heart and soul into and does it well or maybe not so well but it’s still art .
    I’ve been very fortinate to experience production as well as custom woodworking and furniture.The art of developing a process, setting up machinery and producing high volume precise product.That’s an art.We call it a factory but it’s a place where art is created.
    Is our craft not appreciated or do woodworkers not appreciate themselves.Do we just fight the cash flow and not appreciate the art we just created.In doing this does our client follow suite and lack of appreciation is do to our actions.
    If you create art in a room , backyard, plant, cave or what ever.Call it what you want.If you feel better calling your place to create a studio than do so, if a shop than do that.

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