Ariele Alasko’s sneak peek back in March was a huge hit. And rightly so — this girl didn’t let living in a tiny Brooklyn apartment impinge on her dreams of being a woodworker. She set up a spot right in the living room and just began making things. After eight months working in 100 square feet, Ariele was more than ready to move to a proper studio. It was a three-month-long hunt with Amelie Mancini to find this place in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Together with Amelie (whose equally awesome studio next door we’ll check out next week), the two girls transformed the totally raw space with no walls or electricity into two rooms for each to work. Ariele spent three weeks framing, insulating and sheetrocking the walls so that she could have her own space and soundproof the room for power tools. Now she can close her doors, make all the noise she wants and at the end of the day, go home to a saw dust-free apartment. Thanks, Ariele! And a big thank you to Max Tielman for the lovely photographs on a very hot day! — Amy Azzarito
Image above: The entrance to my studio is inside the larger space we rented, so it’s like a little room inside a big room. The walls I framed and built myself, and I hung these two ancient doors I got for twenty bucks each, mismatched and totally crooked, also a bit warped and missing panes of glass that I filled with chalkboard.
Image above: My desk is an eight-foot-long old worktop that I also got for twenty bucks. On the side of it, written in sloppy handwriting, I discovered that it says “John,” probably from the guy who owned it before. It’s propped up on a rusty sewing machine base that I found on the sidewalk. (I’m waiting for another one for the other side!) Sitting in front of it is my favorite thing in my studio — that chair. Oh, that chair! I saw it at a junk store and convinced myself I didn’t need more furniture, but that night I could hardly sleep as it plagued me! I went back first thing, praying it was still there, but to my horror, it had been sold. *Gasp!* It was sitting there waiting to be picked up by someone else, so I did the evil, slimy, but natural thing to do and offered the guy more money for it. Sorry lady! If you’re reading this, I was horrible, and you can despise me, but you can’t have it back! And if you come over, I promise I’ll let you sit in it.
See more of Ariele’s Brooklyn studio after the jump!
Image above: Here’s an old post-office stool I found with a top I made myself, my favorite old hand saw, and a bouquet of Queen Anne’s Lace that I picked on the roadside. I love the idea of having flowers in a wood shop.
Image above: The blue lamp I bought for a dollar seven years ago at a flea market in Manhattan and rewired myself.
Image above: That odd-shaped black and white chevron piece you see is one of my Patterned Headboards, ready to be boxed up and shipped out to CA. The metal cabinet to the right is another one of those saw-it, didn’t-buy-it-and-was-plagued-by-it items. I had to go back the next day with my fingers crossed and scored it for $175, more than I’d usually spend on something, but it holds all my tools oh so nicely! I love that it was once in some other shop or garage and has paint splatters and scratches and stains and smells like old paint when you open it.
Image above: I built that simple desk lamp out of an enamel shade I got for ten bucks in CA and a bent piece of metal. And don’t ask about the Triangle Cheeseboard on my desk — they are all sold!
Image above: This is definitely my favorite little corner of my studio. You know how sometimes things just fall into the right places unintentionally? It’s a great feeling. The old rulers came to me all at once from a few different places, and the three old prints were found at an antique store right around the corner from me, for just a couple dollars each. The wooden drawers were given to me from a past downstairs neighbor and conveniently hold a mixture of odd screws and nails.
Image above: The drawing is of a table pattern, and was the first dining room table commission I ever got. It holds a special meaning for me, and I intend to frame that sketch when the right old frame comes along. That sketch was the beginning of the beginning!
Image above: This female deer skull was found by my dad many years ago while he was hiking in CA, and I don’t think he ever thought it would be so oddly loved over here in BK.
Image above: The big tabletop on the wall is the biggest I’ve built to date, measuring ten feet long and six feet wide. You can get an idea of how I put it together by watching a stop-motion video of the process here: