Friday, February 1, 2013

Studio Set Up, Part II

In my last post I showed you what wasn't working in the studio, and what I did about it. This time I'll give you a look at what HAS been working for me, and maybe it will work for you, too.  :)

This is a simple wire bin that stores hanging file folders. I use it to store my metal. Each folder is labeled (except for the front two) and each gauge (I stock from 10 gauge down to 26 gauge) and type (round, square, half round, etc) gets its own folder. The wire itself is stored in a big ziploc baggie to prevent tarnishing and also I put the most recent price I paid on the bag, so I know immediately what the cost is when I'm pricing my work.

Sheet metal is in separate bags to prevent scratching, and sits in the front pink folder. Bezel wire, in individual baggies by size, sit in the folder behind the sheet metal. And there are two folders in the back that (separately) hold sandpaper grits and templates for cutting shapes in sheet.

The bin itself is on a small rolling stand so that I can roll it under the work table when it's not needed, and roll it out when it is. It's perfect and I never have to guess which wire is what or where it goes.  :)

My stump (salvaged from when the neighborhood church had a tree-cutting bonanza!) is about nineteen inches high and gets used constantly. I stripped the bark, let it dry out for what seemed like forever, and then nailed a strip of copper around it to hold my hammers. It's not the prettiest hammering job - the copper is all wonky, but I don't really care how it looks; it's utterly functional. I just care that my main hammers (I have fourteen, but nine are in major rotation and seven of them hang on the stump) are easily accessible.

My plastic storage bin that sits under the soldering station (you can see the red line of the tank / torch hose to the left of it). This is also on casters so that I can pull it out for my needs and then push it back out of the way when I'm soldering. It holds lots of useful things like gray wheels, sanding discs, my jig cutter, solder, all the rags I use for the studio, my respirator, etc.

My white board. Oversized. The first one I had was magnetic, which was nice, but it was too small. And this one was free, so I'm not complainin'.  :)  It hangs on the wall just to the right of my computer desk, where I can glance up at it easily. And it holds a TON of information. I use it as a visual reminder of what I'm running low on, so I know what to order, things that need to get done in the coming month / year, etc. I don't know what I'd do without it.

My see-it-all wall calendar. I buy a new one of these every year, and it's incredibly helpful when planning out show schedules, personal travel, etc. The post-its have the name of the show, how many days of the show, and the deadline for applying, and they're posted on the calendar on the appropriate weekend. I can't plan my travel and festivals without it - sometimes I have to apply six months in advance for art festivals, and then I forget what I've applied for, and I don't want to plan something that conflicts with the this helps me stay organized.

This is an after photo, but it only had some minor changes. One of the best things I did when I set up the studio was spend on shelving. Nearly two full walls of it, and it's all full. But what I want you to focus on is the set of white binders on the lower right of the photo. They're right above the computer for very easy access, and they have names like, "processes", "tech", "design reference", "biz info", "metal info" and so on. And the last two on the right (that I reach for more than almost anything else), hold my cabochons. :)

These binders are invaluable. If I need to know how many feet of wire in an ounce of 18 gauge, I can look it up easily. If I need to reference an older design (with notes about what gauge of metal was used, how I made the design, etc), it's all there. If I haven't done a process in a while (mostly related to paperwork or data entry), I can refresh myself on it before hosing it all up.  :)

Hopefully some of this helps some of you design (or re-design) your own studios. It was a lot of work to get it back to a useful state, but so worth it. Now I smile (instead of cringing) when I walk into it every morning!

And the jewelry's coming...I promise...stay tuned.  :)

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