Inside Stanmore’s creative Nauti Studios

At the top of an old staircase in Stanmore, bordered by delightfully peeling paint and through the rabbit warren of purpose built studios, we recently met the creative founder of Nauti Studios, Nat Cheney.

If you thought the Inner West is one of the most creative hubs in Sydney, you would be right, and Nauti is a workspace where over 20 local craftspeople create their stuff.  It’s been used by film-producers, bands, fashion creatives and music launches.  The space is raw and interesting, imagine upside down lampshades, paying homage to a former occupant, and a boat re-purposed into a TV stand.  It’s also home to photographers, designers, artists, musicians, producers, a costume designer, vintage shops, a tea-house, a chain stitcher and a hand-plane maker for all the keen surfers out there.

This Sunday is your opportunity to meet some amazing local creators and grab a bargain as Nauti will be throwing open their doors to the public for the first time.  You can even enjoy a game of ping pong, grab some free popcorn and make a day of it.

We were fascinated with Nauti, it’s rich history, and the coolest creators who have made this space home so we sat down with Nat to find out more about it:

Nat Cheney
Nat Cheney, creator of Nauti Studios

What made you start Nauti Studios? “I was inspired by my time in Melbourne, where I was part of a studio called The Hayes.  Here I was surrounded by like-minded creative makers and upon returning to Sydney I realised we were lacking in affordable co-working spaces and studios for the creative industry.  At the Hayes, I felt at home, part of a community and whenever my creativity waned, I was able to bounce ideas and gather inspiration from within this community, I wanted to create a similar concept, in an affordable way, for creative people up here.”

What attracted you to this space? “I spent months searching for a space and fell in love with this warehouse the moment I found it. It had been unoccupied for years, was covered in junk and layers and layers of dust. It was such a huge mess, no one wanted to touch it but I could see it was full of natural light and charming quirks.

It has such a rich history, which is part of its quirkiness, and I’ve kept reminders of this throughout. It was formerly home to a bead maker, a lampshade maker (notice all our hanging lampshades) a lighting company, mechanic (hence the hoist out the back), a shoemaker, wood craftspeople, and a business, which at one point, was the largest makers of leather parts for R.M. Williams in Australia.

With a little help from my friends, I undertook the massive clean up and then built the studio spaces, using recycled/reject materials and timber found in the warehouse rubble wherever I could.”

Nauti Studio common area for creatives to collaborate
Nauti Studios’ residents commonly collaborate around the communal ping pong table Photo: Kelvin Liu

What else can we find at Nauti Studios?The space has a light-filled photography studio (think raw warehouse style), which is transformed into a life-drawing classroom on the first Monday of the month.  On Tuesday’s you can join the Deep Sea Picture Club if you need an unusual film fix over popcorn and pizza. 

Head to Nauti this Sunday between 9am and 4pm to meet some of our creators including:

The Loose Leaf Tea House who will be selling their organic loose leaf tea and hampers. Minette’s Vintage to score some vintage and second-hand clothing and home-wares.  You’ll also be able to buy an assortment of Levi cut-offs and clothes by One Thirty’s Up-cycled Clothing.

I’ll be selling some of my illustrations and naughty photography and Kai Brown will also be showing his one of a kind vintage Levi chain-stitch jackets for kids and adults plus there will be brownies and the best choc chip cookies, garden plants and more!”

Many creative entrepreneurs have been a part of Nauti since we began in 2014 and it’s now a working home for 20+ craftspeople crossing a huge variety of mediums. It is an affordable, professional, unusual and inspiring creative workspace.

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We hope you’ve been inspired by this Inner West Address Nauti Studios, Stanmore

Blake and Annika

#explorelocal #myinnerwestaddress

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