Wednesday 20 January 2010

I'll show you mine...

I'm Jessamyn Sommers, the mixed media artist behind Homespun Ireland on Etsy. My work explores themes of Irish traditions and country life, and my studio in Ballinacurra, Co. Cork, is the perfect setting for my pieces, a step back in time.

I share a large studio space in Bennett's Mill, an old disused grain mill built in 1912. The mill comprises several structures and is largely dilapidated, but has one building which has been preserved and houses studios for several local artists. Our space encompasses two large rooms, which still contain many of the original features and machinery of the mill from it's working days.

Although I keep a sewing room at home, I find my space at the studio invaluable for spreading out, and combing over my stash of ephemera and found objects to experiment with composition, but still being able to come back to everything later, without having to tidy everything away, or find it...'collaborated upon' by my two-year-old!

Sharing a space also means that I am likely to run into one of the other resident artists, for a chat and a cup of tea, which can break up a long day. Mostly, though, it's a quiet place to get away from my busy life with my business and family, and lose myself in my work.

It's a luxury to have a dedicated studio space, but by sharing with other artists and reclaiming disused buildings, it can be made affordable. If you're in Cork and interested in sharing studio space, or would like to visit our studio, you can contact me at homespunireland at eircom dot net.


  1. Wow, it's so inspiring, the place itself, its age, must be inspiring alone. I've never been to an artist studio, all I have is half of a kitchen table, I am lucky that it's a big table at least:D and I know what you mean by saying you do not have to move things away in the process of creation, because I have to.. for dinner:) It's so tempting to come and visit your place as I do live in Co Cork;)

  2. Lightkeeping....I stalked your blog a little bit and see that you are nearby, we are just across the road in Ballinacurra! I also have a little flower shop in Carrigtwohill. If you would ever like to visit us just email me, or maybe stop in the flower shop if you are passing! I would love to meet you. I love your blog!

  3. What a fantastic space, I love how there is so much stuff in your studio, it really looks like a working space. I really miss the communal aspect of working in a space with other artists, there was always time for a quick chat and a coffee :)

  4. what an intriguing place to create your lovely work Jessamyn! you lucky duck ;D

  5. Hi Jessamyn
    Thank goodness someone else has the creative 'chaos' in their work space like I do ... but I mean that in a wonderful way!! I'm too scared to show my work space online because of the explosion of stuff everywhere.

    Your studio space looks amazing and a really inspiring space. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  6. What a great resource! Can only dream here of having a space that doesn't have to be tidied away every so often so people can visit!

  7. I totally agree with the tiding away. Wrecks my head sometimes. One day I'm sure I'll have my own little workspace :)