Vanilla Ink Studio Opening

A blog post by posted on Jul 5th 2012, 15:29

Vanilla Ink Studio Opening

For a moment I wasn't sure I was going to get in. After five minutes or so staring at a locked door, we were rescued only to go past the correct floor in the lift which promptly refused to go back down. Finally we entered the WASPS studios into a brightly lit, brilliantly white corridor with studios every 10 feet, their doors tightly shut with only a faint glow of light betraying the creativity within.

Entering Vanilla Ink's new studio, the first thing that struck me was how inviting the space was. The studio, with its white block walls, wooden and steel benches, white shelves punctuated with the brilliant colours of Jewellery and a large vanilla ink circle logo adorning the end wall, was super cool.

It was obvious that Kate Pickering, the founder of Vanilla Ink, knew her audience well. There were mountains of cupcakes, cava, beer and wine and when the cupcakes started to dwindle the biggest chocolate cake I have ever seen was presented and ceremoniously cut by Kate.

I arrived in the first twenty and was pleasantly surprised after chatting for five minutes to find myself trapped in the corner by a throng of people. The studio was packed and I managed to keep positioning myself in the obvious traffic flows so much of the start of the night passed in a stream of excuse mes and shuffling back and forth.

Kate asked Emma Walker from Craft Scotland to open the Studio and Emma touched upon many of the points we work daily on. After a premature start to her speech, Kate made an emotional thank you to her friends, DJCAD and her family with a special mention of her father who built the Studio!

The studio is cleverly designed and makes great use of the space. The room is split in two with shelves resulting in a 25/75% split. The large, working area has a central work bench that can seat 8 and a further 5 places around the wall. The smaller area has a large work bench for more demanding jewellery, a kiln and lots of blowtorches.

The Studio is set to hold 13, 8 full time and 5 hot benches. This mix of a core group and those just starting out to learn and develop is a fantastic model and one I hope we see more often. Kate has big plans and after nearly 3 years of planning, the first significant physical step has been made.

It's the community aspect that excites me the most. This is definitely one of those "the total is greater than the sum of the parts" setup and I can guarantee there will be lots of incredible collaborations. I asked Kate if she was planning a "10%" rule, where 10% of your time is spent on communal activity, and she did like the sound of that especially when that 10% could be put to promoting Vanilla Ink across the country!

Having first met Kate when she was initially mulling over the Idea, I am delighted to see the studio up and running and I'm convinced that it will be a great success.

You can find more out about Vanilla Ink, Kate and her Studio at

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