In our Open Studio Tour series, we step inside the creative spaces of fellow Etsians to see where their process begins. This is a chance to get to know your fellow makers and perhaps find inspiration for your own studio!
What’s your name and what do you make?
My name is Meredith, but you can call me Mud. My partner in creation is my mom, Susan. She recently decided that nicknames rock, so you can call her Suze (with a silent “e”). Together as RAGGEDedgeGear, we make all sorts of bags and wallets out of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and other hi-tech sailcloth laminates.
Where is your studio situated?
Our studio is in our home, which sits on top of a mountain — seeing has how we like nicknames, we call it “Hawk-Mo Mountain” — just outside the little town of Floyd, Virginia.
When did you decide that you needed a studio?
I decided I needed a studio as soon as I was old enough to understand the meaning of ‘create,’ before I even really knew what a studio was. That said, a studio, in some sense, has always been a part of my life. As for the official RAGGEDedge studio, it started as a corner of a bedroom and an exploding closet that eventually took over the whole room. It moved out to the garage for a while, then progressed to consume the entire living room.
Did you make any sacrifices to create your studio?
We live where we work — if that’s a sacrifice, then yes, but I don’t consider it one. I feel like I live, work, and create in paradise, and I don’t really want it any other way.
What is you favorite tool in your workspace?
Our three sewing machines deserve some time in the spotlight because we couldn’t do any of it without them: Bessie is the oldest, Wilma is the new girl on the block, and Baby, well, she doesn’t belong in the corner. But the prize for my favorite tool has to go to my 20.5″ square ruler. It’s big, it’s bad (in a good way), and it makes cutting so much easier.
How many hours do you normally spend in your studio?
A lot! I’d guess somewhere around 12-16 hours a day, depending on how busy we are.
Is there anything you would add to your work space?
I think it would be pretty cool to have a webcam hooked up outside so that other people could enjoy our beautiful view and the awesomeness of the ever-changing weather. Also, a friend of mine has promised to make a sailcloth chandelier for us one of these days. That would be pretty freaking awesome.
How often do you clean it?
We have to do quick clean-ups with a Swiffer pretty often, sometimes more then once a day. Otherwise the stray pieces of thread and little bits of material get out of control. The real down and dirty cleanings occur every couple of weeks.
Where do you find all of the objects that decorate your studio?
Our main studio decoration is our Happy Magic Memories Board which sits on the wall in our “office” space. Its a collection of all sorts of things: milestones, words to live by, and other random acts of inspiration that reminds of us of how we got to be where we are and the many people that have supported us on this adventure.
What object in your studio inspires you the most?
That would have to be the print out of the definition OODA loop speed, pinned in the middle of our Happy Magic Memories Board. If you’ve never heard the term OODA loop, make sure you look it up — I have a feeling it will inspire you too.
Left: Meredith at work. Right: Sailcloth Yoga Bag.
How do your studio surroundings inspire your work?
Every day I wake up, look outside and think how lucky we are to be here. It feels truly karmic it to have found this place. I am inspired to create awesome things because of the sheer awesomeness of where we are.
Is there something in your studio that has a great story behind it? Please share!
I made the painted sign above the sliding glass doors. It depicts a lady with crazy hair getting pulled by a fish. That design was the very first RAGGEDedge logo and sign. I surprised my mother with it 10 years ago, just in time for her first vending weekend at a local regatta.