The Studios

All the studios are exclusively sheltered within The Gables Yard unit which is a self-contained development. Due to the Yard’s location, each of the studios is filled with natural light making them ideal for any artist to work  in. The  workshops were  restored and converted with artists and craftspeople in mind; they are functional and clean and fulfill the requirements of the 21st century while retaining their historical character, they help to inspire those who work there.

The studios are individually metered for their electricity, water where connected and rates, but they are normally entitled to small business relief making them very affordable and highly desirable properties to lease.

In order to support the businesses that choose to rent these spaces, the leases are initially on a 3 year contract and when the tenant chooses to leave, they can do so easily with only a 2 month notice period. The studios are different in character and range in size from 317 sq.ft to 570 sq.ft. Those working with larger media such as furniture making can lease a bigger building for their needs and those wanting a smaller space can opt for one of the more compact studios.

Studio 1 is the largest workshop at 570 sq.ft and is arranged over the ground and first floors. There are two rooms plus a cloakroom on the ground floor. The walls are white painted brickwork and render, the floors are of black or red bricks. A wooden staircase leads to the spacious first floor studio which is painted white. This has wooden floor boards and banister rails, sash windows and a (non-operational) Victorian fireplace. South facing windows make it very light and airy. The first floor is not really suitable for heavy equipment but is ideal for design based businesses, such as photography, graphic design or literary work.

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Studio 2 has a display window with external shutters which directly overlooks the village green. It is the smallest of the workshops at 317 sq.ft. This makes it ideal for many hand-made crafts such as textiles and jewellery. It has white painted brickwork and rendered walls with a grey painted concrete floor. Three further windows overlook the yard and there is a south facing Velux roof light.

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Studio 3 is the second largest workshop at 442 sq.ft in one airy rectangular space. It is well lit with south facing windows on one elevation and high level windows on the opposite wall. It has a stable door leading into the yard and large double doors, one of them another stable door, leading into a covered area between Workshops 3 and 5. It has white painted brickwork and rendered walls. This workshop has been used by three furniture makers and two stained glass artists. It would also be ideal for many other crafts which need a large open space and  would make a splendid sculpture studio.

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TO LET Studio 4 is 352 sq.ft and again a rectangular space, although it was divided by a partition wall several years ago when it was being used by a photographer, into approximately 1/3 and 2/3 of its length. The main access is through large glazed double doors, which lead directly into the larger section of the studio which has white painted block work walls, a painted concrete floor and two windows on the north elevation. An internal door in the partition wall leads to the smaller section of the studio which has an external stable door and a Velux roof light. This studio has  been used by two ceramic artists, a textile designer using silk screen printing and a boat builder. If  needed, it would be very easy to remove the internal partition.

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Studio 5 is also 352 sq.ft but is a different proportion to Workshop 4, being slightly longer and narrower. It was originally divided into three separate spaces by brick walls but these were largely removed during the conversion work. Supporting buttress walls were left at each side, resulting in an area which is ideal for, say, ceramic work where some level of separation between activities is beneficial. Storage space is provided on a mezzanine accessed by a ladder. Two south facing windows overlook the yard and a large high level window faces west. A stable door leads into the yard. The rendered walls are painted white and the floor is grey painted concrete.

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Testimonials

For me the Gables Yard provided the creative space I needed to develop my personal work when I retired after a life time teaching ceramics in Adult Education. At first finding my way proved difficult, but working alongside Derrick Ibbott, a first rate craftsman, the exuberant photographer Robert and my wife Isobel producing her wonderful textiles,the Gables Yard provided the stimulus I needed with its infectious vitality.

Derrick and Robert moved on to larger premises, Sally moved in next to me and bought a new craft, Stained Glass to the yard. New blood came from two younger makers straight from Lowestoft College set up shared a unit, Kate, a potter and Danielle- silk screen printed textiles, both looking for a low cost starter unit. The supportive environment with established makers helped them to develop skills, flourish and move on to greater things.

And me, I did find myself -producing a range of domestic ware and individual sculptural work, plus offering some courses. I was at my happiest on a warm summers day engrossed in creative work, or observing the changing seasons displayed by the light and large walnut tree through the large window at the end of unit 5.

Ray Auker - 06/12