Just this week I "remodeled" my work space. (I've really been into the new looks, updates, fresh starts this year so far--no guarantees on how long this phase will last, however.) But this is where I work.
Organization and efficient storage are the keys to my being able to work creatively. It will always nag at me if I have a chore to complete before I sit down to have fun. And beading is way beyond fun for me. It's when my muse sits nearby, maybe on my shoulder, and gives me artistic encouragement and inspiration. Hence, the remodel . . . and on to courting the muse!
First a little history: My studio is a big room in our basement that used to be the rec room when the kids were little and played down there. Years went by and the room became a store room for furniture, athletic equipment, you know, an easy place to stash whatever. Then one day I thought that I wanted to move from a small spare bedroom upstairs to this luxurious space that wasn't being utilized to its full potential. It's big (about 18 x 30 feet), carpeted, and completely comfortable, and I am really appreciative of it. So I carried all my beading stuff down the stairs piece by piece (and of course did a thorough purging of the accumulated goods to better homes.) The arrangement has gone through several redos over the years, but I'm really happy with it now. We plan to move the pool table out later (right now it's a staging area) and put in a large wooden dining-style table (now living in the garage) for display, work, bead retreats, and classes. It's always something . . .
The photo at the top shows where the magic happens, so to speak. There are two six-foot tables, one under the windows and one to the right forming a corner. The table you see is the actual workspace; the other table holds stuff. The cool thing is my storage on the table. I ordered two shelf units from Amazon (the kind that are used in schools as mailboxes or paper storage). I assembled them, put them on the table, and proceeded to fill up the 72 cubbies. Since most of my beads and findings are stored in plastic divided boxes, the fit is perfect! And . . . everything I use all the time is with reach. My husband is going to build one for the other table that is a more custom size. I'm sure I can find things to fill up those cubbies too.
But the best thing is that I'm no longer working in a one-foot-square space. In the past I've always somehow ended up doing that by surrounding myself with beads, boxes, books, tools, articles, etc. until I have almost no room left to work. So, right now at least, I have the whole length of the table to work on a project. No guarantees, but for this week, it's working!
The photo to the left above is my tool table. It's a steel garage or workshop metal shelf from Costco, so it's beefy. I have three of these altogether. The other two are for other purposes. But this one is where I keep my hammers, mandrels, bench blocks, stamps, cutting tools, dapping tools--anything that really requires some pounding. The shelf below is storage for tools used less often. The wooden section on top is a leftover from my mishmash of earlier storage shelves. It's about four feet long and about nine inches wide. It's perfect for the little things that need to be corralled or they fall off or get lost. I have the stamps, hole punches, scale, dapping blocks, glues and other solutions there. And it's open underneath so that tools with longer handles can be tucked there and still be found easily.
Those are my two main work areas. I sometimes go downstairs and just look at it. Do you ever do that? I'll do the same thing after I've made a piece that I really, really like. Just make a trip to look at it. It's somehow satisfying.
About Me . . .
I am a beader.
Courting My Beading Muse . . .
I think about beads and jewelry a lot. Maybe not constantly, but almost. So when my muse is with me, I must court her so she stays and provides me with inspiration. Here are some results . . .