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From garage to studio

According to feng shui, every space tells a story. Every space contains within it information made up of past events, accumulated memories, whisperings of occurrences. There is a lingering aroma, colors, items, textures… and much more. Picture an ancient cathedral, and compare it with a newly built house.
Left: Photography: Catherine Mead Right: via www.lamp-voor-thuis.nl

All the information exuded by a space has an influence on the person it surrounds. Sometimes it adds depth and charm, but the energies it conveys are not always suited to its occupants. The good news is that these energies can be “reprogrammed” through design changes that give it a new aspect.

Left: Sven Fennema

Feng shui design adds a new dimension to space, beyond the tangible. For instance, color is not simply a color as perceived by our eyes, it is also an energetic frequency. The texture of a wall is not just a matter of design, taste or trend, it is the conveyance of pulses of energy flow, or chi – life energy – throughout the space.

The placement and form of walls and furnishings are more than elements of design. They are navigational lines directing the flow of chi. All these elements together make up the tools of trade of the feng shui artist. Through use of these elements, every space can be individually suited to the needs of its occupants, be they resident, worker, or artist.

Above: Left: Vija Celmins, Shell, 2009-10. Oil on canvas; Center: exposed brick; Right: ideeli.com. Below: Left: Tina Pfeiffer; Center: Otto Piene; Right: Via Amauraderinrye

Just like plants, different people need different spaces. Each individual has their own specific environmental needs for growth, development and flowering. Synchronization between a person’s needs and their living and working space is what the art of feng shui is all about.

In today’s post, I want to present an interesting example of this theory at work, applied to a silversmith studio in a space that had previously been a garage.

The artisan worked and created in her garage/studio by force of circumstance, but she found that it required of her a great deal of emotional energy just to enter her workspace. She had wanted it to be a place of inspiration, creativity, sales, and also a place where she could quietly be alone with herself. She did not find the peace she sought in her current workspace.

Photography: Galit Deutch

We sat together, the silversmith artist and myself, in order to identify her needs, both personal and creative, and to develop a plan to “cleanse” her space and turn it into something new.

The artist’s astrological map indicated a high degree of artistic ability, a special ability of self-expression, and a talent for grasping the abstract and translating it into a tangible, physical object.

Photography: Galit Deutch

Like any artist, she was subject to bursts of creativity. But although an artistic sense was an integral part of her character, she found herself exhausted at the end of the creative process. She found she needed a break. She sought breathing space.

Acquaintance with the artist, together with an understanding of the spatial energy, brought about a reorganization of the furniture, as can be seen in the illustration below, as well as an essential change to the element of color in the space.

Since the entrance door brings in chi that encourages opportunity and income, we used the color red to invite in the desired chi. The entrance door was painted red, as were some of the furnishings. As a complementary color, we focused on greens, which protect alertness, nourishment, and creativity.

In addition, the studio was designed so as to include and display information and inspiration of a type required by the artist.

Photography: Galit Deutch

And voila!
The studio operates today the way the artist always dreamed it would. It is for her a place to create, to sell, and also simply – to be. She has told me that every time she enters the studio, she gets a good feeling and she no longer has any difficulty in spending time there and creating. In addition, she displays her creations in the studio, which serves her also as a sales place. This last fact may sound a simple and natural thing to do, but for a shy and retiring person, to display their creations, price them, and sell them – that is not something to be taken for granted. It’s something that needs the support of a particular kind of energy.


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