It was dark when I began to work this morning. My desk ( above) was a mess and a magnet for kittens. Away across the country Catherine Rayner ( below) was also working early.
Intrigued at nosing around this creative chaos I thought to ask others to send in pictures of their desks to make a blog post with links. But meanwhile the sun came up. My desk changed over the day. It begins and ends this posting, which may grow as others send through.
Above, a little bit of space on my desk.
Below, Mike Harding’s desk from which he launches his wonderful Podcast on Sundays. He keeps me painting through dark evenings and introduces me to music that I am new to and brings back old favorite. Thanks Mike.
Below, Kij Johnson, who is not content with one desk, but has to have 2. This first has characters from her current novel and a map of Tashkent, just incase she should get lost, while she is in Cansas. The second is clear of clutter and has a beautiful view.
Above, two pictures of Will Badger’s desk. I met him when he brought Kij to my house. This is what he says about his desk:
“As most of the other examples in your blog series picture intimate, domestic work spaces, this may not belong. It’s an accurate representation of my work environment, however. In fact, Kij and I worked at Turl Street during her time here. As a graduate student, my ‘desk’ tends to be transitory space on the tables of local cafes. My current favourite is pictured here, at Turl Street Kitchen, where you can get two eggs and all-you-can-eat toast for £3.”
Below, Anna, from Solva Woollen Mill, working hard processing people’s orders for East of the Sun in a corner of the mill. Usually she has a cat on her desk.
Below, Annie from Jali Mali. She has a shop in St Davids and a Guest House in Nepal and is just a very lovely person.
Below, Laura Parfitt’s desk. Laura is a radio producer, and whenever I hear a stunning bit of radio I am never surprised to find that she and White pebble Media are behind it. I had the great privilege of working with her once, in 2007. Here is what she said about her desk:
“I am sending you a photo of my desk. It has been newly tidied for the new year. Apart from sound gear – items on it include a spoon bent by Yuri Geller for me – interviewing him was a highlight of last year (quite eccentric, but somehow very intelligent and kind). It also has a child’s red tin racing car that belonged to my dad – reminding me that he had very few toys as a child and also to drive forward (ironically only recently discovered that what I thought was the front of the car was actually the back so have been driving it backwards). Also, something I love dearly and have had on my desk for years, a resting block from the Himba tribe in Namibia – used instead of a pillow – to remind me to rest and take it easy and not always drive myself forward. i’ve got a Cornish tin paperweight - I love the design on it and it’s from my mother in law and reminds me that in cornwall life is peaceful and history is important. most of it is taken up with a very lovely Mac computer which is fast and helps me make sound – music and radio in that order.”
Below, Cathy Cooper’s desks: she has looked spirit bears in the eye and breathed the same air as them.
Below, Erin Keen’s desk, looking busy and interesting.
Hannah Stowe ( my daughter), below, with new acrylic inks that she is using.
Malachy Doyle ( writer) below, and his desk in Ireland. He says : ”just took an untidied pic of my desk for you. features a card from Jac Jones, two little sculptures of me and Liz made by my son Liam (presents for Christmas), and a bronze hare. it’s a big old leather-topped lawyer’s desk, and I love it!” I spy a big pile of papers and The Snow Queen illustrated by Errol LeCain. Always wanted a rhyming dictionary.
Catherine Hyde’s ’desk’, ( above) working on so many paintings at the same.
A musical desk, below, belonging to Helen Morris. I have known Helen since we were 6 years old. She has always played the piano.
Emma Coode’s desk ( below). Emma is one of the editors at Harper Collins for Voyager books so gets to read the Games of Thrones books before the rest of us, and edits Robin Hobb and Peter Brett and Mark Lawrence.
Leslie Sowden’s desk is a riot of colour and business.
June Pearson, teacher at Ennerdale primary school and a couple of the children’s desks there. Wonderful school. They have red squirrels in the playground and the children smile a great deal. There were only 64 children in the school when I visited last year.
Above, Jennifer Crook.
Cheryl Lloyd’s desk is largely dominated by a beautiful cat.
Hilary Brookes’s office, above, over-looking the sea at Broadhaven. She sells books with Barefoot Books and has a website.
Above, colourful, Loiuse McClary, table with a very interesting array of bamboo pens and a lurking glass pen on the right. Beautiful.
Above: Tracy McNicoll. Below: Diane Patmore.
Chris Ruston says of her desk ( below), ”
It is looking relatively tidy today as everything had been cleared away for Christmas. On the left a current project – a painted book which is in the final stages of being finished. The book is a response to a Shakespeare quote, where he describes how everything eventually “turns to dust”. I have used the idea of the seasons/cycles and autumnal colours to suggest the closing of summer when seeds are dispersed waiting for springs renewal.
Next to the book are the tools of the trade- a Stanley knife/scissors, pencil, and a trusty old paint brush (which has really earned its keep over the years!), and the book makers “must have” a bone folder. All this is resting on another essential item a large cutting mat.
The small pieces of paper on the plastic sheet are waiting for another layer of ink, and will eventually become seeds in the centre of the book. Above these you can glimpse one piece of the folio cover which will contain the book when it is finished. An image of a dried seed head can just be seen.
The obligatory jam jar with water sits next to the cover panel, complete with rubber and pencil shavings.
To the left of this lies a stack of painted pages covered in inky marks which are awaiting a direction/structure. I frequently start projects by painting and mark making, then respond to the marks. I like to be open to where the work takes me. This book is more of an exception having been specifically commissioned. Once it has been completed viewers will be able to see it on my website.
Finally in the top left hand corner is another stack of “beginnings” waiting for a bit of space to emerge on the table!!
Denise Gary from Kids Need to Read, looking a bit tidy, despite a small tower of books and a wobbly headed Yoda.
And then there is Hannah Willow who gets two pictures, because she has entered into the spirit and not tidied up, and because it makes me laugh so much that someone, somewhere has a messier desk than mine! Nothing like anything you might see in Country Living and yet she lives on a farm, surrounded by hares and owls and makes beautiful things that are like silver dreams.
Tamsin Abbott makes glass of superb and excellent designs. Her tables are below. Her workshop is a beautiful building in itself, so I might just cheat and put a picture of the workshop in too.
Tamsin’s studio looks suitably like something from a fairy tale!
Natasha Hoffman’s desk, with corvidae.
Amy Blaza’s desk has interesting things like a quill and a rather large book on Ottoline and a Latin dictionary and some books I recognize and others I don’t. And I want to know what is in the leather journal in front of the laptop.
Jane Elliot’s is a stitching desk, complete with a Singer sewing machine.
Below are two of desks, one more recognizable as a ‘desk’ that the other.
A desk that looks more like an ‘office’ desk from Roberta Zanasi.
Karine Polwart’s desk with “ Chief rogue items today? A suitable for 5-12 year olds box with lego police car, handcuffs and sour-faced “bad guy”. Two cassette tapes (what are they?). Earrings as sent to me (and received today) by the gorgeous Matafirska Katarina (thanks Kat!!). An incomplete jigsaw of myself aged 2 (don’t ask/not symbolic). A tax reminder. A CD of British bird song.”
Judy Dyble’s desk in a lovely house surrounded by honeysuckle.
Tabitha Suzama promises that she didn’t tidy up. Very much a ‘writer’s desk’. Interesting for me to see how other writer’s work.
My writing desk is elsewhere. My writing desk is outside as I write when I am walking. I usually find a high place, in the shadow of the wind. Sometimes a cat comes with me.
And my studio desk again, with lighter fluid!
This page will continue to grow. Please feel free to post on your own blog and link back and leave comments. Email pictures of your desk with links to your website. And DON”T tidy up first!