Our future home is 54 Cove Street in the East Bayside area of Portland. We are particularly excited to be in that neighborhood because of all the cool things that are going on there. It is a former light industrial area that is being slowly taken over by artisan businesses. The buildings are large and low, with facades that hide the dynamic activities going on inside them. The location we are taking over is currently occupied by Running With Scissors, an artists collective, that shares resources much the way A Gathering of Stitches will.
Our new home will encompass 4400 square feet of working space. Just think of how much room we'll all have to spread out. There are individual studios ranging in size from about 140 square feet to 400 square feet, which will be occupied by fiber/textile artists, craftspeople and small businesses. The total number of studios is nine, and A Gathering will have one additional enclosed classroom. We currently have half of the studios rented but are still looking for tenants, hint hint! If you've ever dreamed of a place for your fiber pursuits, this is the one for you.
All those studios ring the central common area which will be larded with all sorts of useful specialized equipment. The room is large, open and airy. The lighting is great. We will have large cutting tables, a simple yet space prohibitive tool. Imagine the luxury of being able to spread all of your yardage out on a flat surface that's at waist height! No crawling around on the floor with fabric and pattern pieces. No fabric hanging off the edges of a table that just isn't big enough, skewing your cutting lines. The central common space is about 1200 square feet. That means 1200sf of open space that the studio renters will have access to, in addition to their private space. 1200sf of space for equipment renters to use to lay out that quilt you've been working on, or that dress that has all the panels and needs a full table for the yardage to lay flat, or just to have the room the breathe while you create.
Adjacent to this wide open space will be the wet area. This will be another 400 square feet (or so) of sinks, countertops, heating elements, water resistant tables, drying racks, and screen printing equipment (more on this in a future post). So you can come in and get wet, get fabric wet, get yarn wet, and not worry about messing up your kitchen. Of course you'll need to clean up after yourself when you're done, but then you can go home and cook dinner without worrying about stained pots and utensils.
This image below is of the space as it is currently configured. It doesn't give you a good idea of how open the space will be when we're in there. We'll be taking down some of those half walls and putting up others. But we want you to see the airiness of the ceiling height and the lighting.
Up front will be the reception area which will have a couple of couches for sitting and knitting, or catching up. There may be times when there is a small class being held there. But you will always see a smiling face at the front desk. A face attached to a human being who will be able to help with most fiber or textile related questions. We hope you will come out and use this space we are building, because we're building it for you!