My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Study/Studio Re-Decoration Part 4: Worktop & Workspace

This is the part of this room that is most used for the purposes of studying and art. I've shared a lot of my Book Nook and meditation space because it's probably the part I feel is most finished and which I am happiest with, as well as being most relevant to the Witchcraft-related topics I've been writing about recently. However, that is not really the primary purpose of the room; literally it's just a corner in an alcove off my study, and my study's main purpose is to be where I study for university and where I do things relating to art.

A photograph looking along a faux-marble desk towards a window and corner. The window is so bright that it looks mostly white, with a purple pentagram lantern barely visible. There is a curly black wrought iron candle-stick on the window-ledge, with three small purple candles in sockets each slightly higher than the one before, and the purple candles are at slightly jaunty angles. There is a small purple vase on the window-ledge with incense sticks. Several wind-chimes hang in the window, indistinct in the bright light. The window-frame is off-white. Black moulded dado-rail runs from under the window-ledge and around to the adjoining wall. On the adjoining wall, into the corner, there are a set of shelves, three of which are visible; they are above the desk and dado-rail. The shelves are black on ornate Gothic style reproduction Victorian cast-iron brackets, and the front edges of the shelves have thin moulded trim along them. On the shelves are an assortment of tubs and boxes, ornate with predominantly black, grey, silver and purple as the colours. There are also several skull ornaments, and a lavender glasss orb hanging from the second bracket up, nearest the camera. In the corner is a black Lenovo computer, turned off; the monitor is obscuring most of the PC tower, and the keyboard and mouse are visible; the mouse has been left on the keyboard. The faux marble desk is mostly clear except a grey vintage-style desk-lamp, a tablet computer resting on a black swirly metal recipe book stand, and an object that looks like a book with an ornate purple and gold cover, but which is actually a Harry Potter theme lamp with the cover reading 'Liber Lux'; the Harry Potter book-lamp is on a silver recipe-book stand. The wall adjacent to the window, above the desk, is mostly a dark, rich purple. On the purle wall, nearer the camera, there is a mirror in the shape of a wide Gothic arch in a wooden frame; the mirror glass is subdivided horizontally into three thin Gothic arches, two shortm one tall one in the middle - with wire. At the bottom of the wooden mirror frame are three black metal hooks unused. Above the mirror, three purple glass hearts - two bright purple, almost fuchsia and one dark violet - are visible suspended, but what they are suspended from is cropped off at the top of the photograph. Under the dado rail that runs from under the window-ledge along both visible walls is a greyscale wallpaper of Gothic arches, a reproduction if an 1830's style, with a slightly crude wood-block effect. On top of the PC tower in the corner is a mostly wooden candle-holder; it is an ornately carved wooden Gothic arch with a mirror in, on a wooden base, with a purple taper-candle in a brass socket in front of the mirror; the candle-holder is at an oblique angle. Also in the foreground is a metal spice rack, in the same twisted metal tubing and spiral design style as the recipe-book stands; it is slightly thicker metal and powder-coated matte black. At the bottom of the spice-rack is a spindle supporting two visible rolls of tape, on the top shelf of the spice-rack, cropped from view, are art materials in shallow metal tray-tins. The re-purposed spice rack is in the fore-ground, at the far right of the image, and is partially cropped. The image is poorly lit as the room is dingy, and the window is much, much brighter than the room; the effect is dark, subdued and closed-in. The whole collection of visible objects gives a witchy, eclectic aesthetic, especially the purple walls and ornament on much that is visible. The photograph looks like it was taken in the afternoon.
Work-top and too-small window, computer and shelves
My computer is shoved in the corner by the window to minimise the glare on my screen and to maximise available worktop space, while simultaneously hiding the ugly PC tower as best as I could; modern electronics are completely out of keeping with my aesthetic. Eventually, probably after I upgrade my hardware, I would like to build a new case for the tower based off Gothic architectural aesthetics, and probably a matching screen for my monitor.  

My study is dingy because my window is overly small and my walls are dark. Most of the time I end up working there after dark anyway, so it is not much of a bother as I rely on artificial light anyway, but it does make trying to photograph the room in daylight sometimes a tad difficult, especially in the low sun of early spring. 

 On the far left is a window ingo brightly illuminated but also painted a lighter shade of purple, stenciled with tile patterns in silver and green. Part of a purple pentagram lantern, and three sets of windchimes. There is a black Lenovo PC tower with a wooden Gothic arch mirror that is also candle-holder for a purple dinner-style candle. Above the computer are black shelves with moulded fronts and ornate brackets, full of art materials. The shelves are on a dark purple wall, above a black dado rail with greyscale Gothic architecture design wallpaper beneath. The desk is black marble-effect, and there is a grey vintage style desk lamp upon it, and a tablet computer in a black metal stand. Some Gothic arch candle-holders are visible on the wall to the right of the shelves. The light is defuse but dingy. There is a cast iron bat hanger behind the computer. The art materials include a purple box with silver strapping and latches and a black rack of Spectrum Noir markers, colourful caps visible.
Desk and Computer
My desk is a worktop of MDF wrapped in the sort of self-adhesive vinyl for covering kitchen worktops, and it is pretty good as a wipe-down surface. Archimedes has scratched it in a couple of places, but that is fairly minor damage, however if anyone wants to build a desk like this and does crafts involving blades I would definitely recommend a cutting-mat. Raven built the desk/worktop and the legs are re-purposed from the banisters of a stair-rail.

Above the desk are shelves for the art-materials I use most often, so mostly pens of various types as well as my water-colours. The purple box is where I store technical drawing tools, the ivory drawers my stamping materials. For storage I like to try and find aesthetically pleasing containers as many craft items come in bright colours and garish modern packaging, so they get put in tubs and tins - especially vintage tins. On my desk I have used a spice-rack with a spindle for kitchen-towel as more art-material storage; things that come in shallow trays like paints and pencil-sets get put there, as they do not store easily on the main shelving. I use the spindle for tape (pictured) but also kitchen towel as intended. My tablet and my Harry Potter book-lamp are on recipe-book stands. Kitchenalia is useful for craft rooms!   

Black shelves with ornate (but difficult to see) brackets upon which are art materials; skull tub with purple and green dragon-scale paint brushes, vintage tins, ivory drawers, a purple box with silver strapping and latches. Next to the shelves are a variety of Gothic arch candle holders. On the left is a tall, slim dark brown one with gold trim and a mirror, it is also a sconce for a purple dinner-style candle. Central at the top is a black metal arch with some swirls and three candle holders, but the candle-holders are being used to suspend three purple glass hearts. Bottom centre is a dark brown wooden Gothic arch, short and squat, with three metal wire Gothic arches inside it, a mirror and a Highlands & Islands Scottish Green Party sticker. On the right is a crescent moon mirror of black metal, also with three candle-holders. The wall they are on is dark purple. To the right there is a black metal shelf with trays of pencils and charcoals. The computer monitor is on the left. In the middle of the desk are a grey vintage-style desk-lamp, a computer tablet in a black metal recipe book holder, and what looks like a gold and purple antique book but is actually a Harry Potter book lamp. The desk is black marble effect. Behind the monitor, lamps, tablet and bottom of the metal shelves is greyscale Gothic architecture patterned wallpaper under a black dado rail. You are very patient listening to this description, thank-you.
Shelves, art materials, Gothic arches & candlesticks
While storage is the primary concern, I do also like displaying ornaments on my shelves, and also sourcing ornamental containers, such as the skull tub. I have some of my Gothic arch candle-sconces on the wall next to my shelves, and the ones that are not too close to the ceiling do actually get used. All of them are secondhand; the two with wooden frames are from eBay, the metal Gothic arch was given to me by a colleague, and the moon sconce came from a candle-shop and is there by dint of being the wrong size for the Book Nook.

A large, black and white long-haired cat sitting on my desk. His front is white, his back is black, and he is very very fluffy. He is sitting and facing left, The Gothic arch mirror on top of the computer tower is visible. The Gothic architecture wallpaper and grey desk lamp are visible behind Archimedes the cat. He is sitting in front of a black switched-off flat-screen computer monitor. The cat has very long whiskers that catch the light. He has an adorable face.
Archimedes on my desk!
Archimedes is a cat, and therefore it is his prerogative to interrupt my work, so he spends a lot of time on my desk.

I have to at some point do an overview of the whole room, but I think that will wait until I have finished it. There's so much left to do on this room, but a lot of it hinges on getting contractors in; the ceiling is definitely something that requires a lot of that, and I can't afford it [at the time of publishing this article, which is approximately a month after actually writing it, we are now in 'lock-down' due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so even if I could afford it, it would not be possible to bring in contractors]. My ceiling requires first the attention of someone to replace the section that was put up incorrectly and has bowed and to patch the hole from the botched attempt at putting in a light fixture that was done for the previous owner by someone clearly not very good at that sort of thing, then it needs an electrician to put in two over-head lights in the long section, and one overhead light above the Book Nook, with new switches (and maybe a power-outlet inside my cubby), and not until then can I paint my ceiling, put up plaster stars, and add coving to my room. There's also little point in starting work on restoring the star-shaped ceiling lights I bought (very cheap) until I have something to mount them to when they are done.

I have some furniture customisation/up-cycling projects that I would like to share next, but each of those has come to a stumbling block, so are currently incomplete, but when they are done, there will be a book-case where I replaced the wicker shelves with MDF painted with acrylic pour technique, a drawer mounted underneath my desk with a hand-painted drawer-front and skull drawer-knob, a set of miniature drawers for my calligraphy things, my painting the inner-face of my door in violet and viridian, re-painting a set of shelves in with glass doors, and eventually, re-painting a Gothic arches book-case.

This blog will definitely return to some of its original purpose, looking at my Gothic home (hence it's name DOMESTICATED Goth) with more craft-projects, and maybe this year some spooky cooking! I have a back-log of photographs from trips to various spooky places from last year that I would like to share, as well. [Lock-down means no more spooky trips for the foreseeable future, but hopefully they will resume in a few months]. I also have some art of skulls, etc. that I would like to share, and I will be setting up some e-commerce in future so that I can sell my art online. 


8 comments:

  1. "Archimedes is a cat, and therefore it is his prerogative to interrupt my work, so he spends a lot of time on my desk"

    Archimedes is best Catto!

    ReplyDelete
  2. All looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming from you, that is praise indeed - I've always admired your Goth It Yourself blog. How is your own house decor going? Are you on WHF at the moment?

      Delete
    2. Thanks very much! House decor is always never done. ;) But I did complete some projects in the last year; I just need to post them.
      Yes, I've been working from home since March 13.

      Delete
    3. I will keep an eye on your blog :) It's always been really interesting and I'm glad to see you back

      Delete
  3. I take it you're not planning on moving any time soon; not after all the work you've put into your home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not for a very long while; I doubt this is our forever-home, but we've got a happy little life here, and intend to stay for a good few years. If I did have to move, I'd first advertise it for sale in the Gothic/witchy community to try and find a buyer that likes it the way it is before painting it all 'blank canvas' neutrals.

      Delete

Please be polite and respectful. Comments containing gratuitous swearing and insults will be deleted.