Parts and Crafts Studio

PARTS & CRAFTS is home to a diverse group of creatives, working in the fields of fashion, design, painting, photography and architecture. The space provides a versatile working environment for its tenants, the open plan encouraging cross-pollination between practitioners as well as a strong feeling of community.

In addition to the studio element, PARTS & CRAFTS also incorporates a retail shopfront: selling artwork, books and other collectibles from near and far. Both the shop and studio have gained a considerable amount of positive feedback from both press and local community.

The once dormant site is now a hive of positive energy, one that adds to the vitality of Faraday St and greater Carlton.

“Most landlords run when they hear 'artists studio'.” Hugo Atkins

How was the space first identified and who was contacted to secure it?

We were looking to move from another space and saw the for lease sign on the building, so contacted the appropriate agent, it was a pretty straight forward process.

What was required to secure the space?

We had to provide bond money, solid rental references and history, as well as a sense of professionalism. Most landlords run when they hear "artists studio".

What needed to be provided by you as hirer or user of the space?

Internet, power and water upgrades as well as kitchen facilities and bathroom fix ups.

What were the costs?

The total came to about $14,000 for building upgrades and the initial setup.

What were the resources available to you?

Not a great deal, the Creative Spaces website was very useful in finding creatives to fill the space.

Who helped you to fit it out?

Rob and I did most of the work ourselves, and I had a carpenter friend help me build the kitchen area. We designed it all ourselves, it was fun and we got high on toxic paint fumes. I hallucinated that a man was a stencil! Don't mess with Xylene.

What were/are the obstacles?

Council permits, they are costly and planning is time consuming. We were advised to apply for a planning permit to change to an ‘Arts and Crafts Centre’.

Under this permit we can't have any office style spaces, just ‘arts and crafts’ which I don't think is really suited for us. It would be nice to see a ‘mixed creative space’ permit in the planning laws that can effectively cater to shared creative studio style environments.

Under our current permit we are allowed to have exhibitions of artists’ works, but they limited us to one exhibition a year, for no longer than 2 hours, and no more than 30 people.

Council also initially wanted us to do a $50,000 - $100,000 environmental site assessment which after much negotiation we proved was completely unnecessary, this is the sort of test you do when you are developing a property not using the space as a studio.

What were/are the risks?

The only real risk is not filling the space in time and sinking behind in rental payments. The best thing is to make sure you have a solid base of friends or like minded people to help cover costs from day one.