Museum Textile Services has a new studio! After an exhaustive three-week effort of painting, cleaning, and moving, the new facility opened for business on January 16, 2012. In its previous life, our new location was Wool Storage Building A of the Ballard Vale Mills. It was constructed in 1878 of brick with a slate roof, and was renovated/restored in 1994.
While moving some of our items to the third-floor attic, we discovered wool fibers still clinging to the ceiling beams. It was very exciting for us to find physical evidence of the past function of our new space. There still exists part of a large pulley system, or "rope hoist" used to lift bales of wool to each floor.
Our new building has all of the modern conveniences while still retaining its historical charm. The studio space has increased by fifty percent, which has allowed us to give a permanent home to the tapestry tensioner and photographic equipment. Our new space has also given us another precious foot of ceiling height, allowing us to display and work on larger objects in-house. One of the long walls in the studio space showcases the building’s lovely brickwork.
Other improvements include a permanent hookup for our large wash table, and the installation of a new stainless-steel darkroom sink to allow us to wash smaller textiles with greater ease. A larger storage room accommodates a table designated for object intake and examination, as well as a place to meet with clients. Additionally, there is a separate office for Camille, Cara and Courtney.
We’re very pleased with our new facility and look forward to years of productivity and creativity!