Monday, October 7, 2013

From Chaos to Clarity

At least, I hope that's the progression. It's funny how small, unexpected things can cause seismic shifts in your life...

A few weeks ago, I was approached at an art festival by a fellow jeweler. One of the other jewelers in our community had died, and she had taken on the task of clearing out his studio / workshop for the family. This man taught classes and had / has a very large space dedicated to jewelry design / teaching in Georgia, which is slowly being cleaned out, items sold, as they fit other jewelry designers' needs.

I went out to the space last week, and was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of STUFF in there. When you're teaching, you have to have a lot of extras in stock - pliers, scissors, rulers, etc. And I think we designers are all just naturally hoarders - we always think we can use "something" for "something" - even if we don't quite know what any of the "somethings" are just this I don't mean that the shop was hoarder-like; it was very organized. But the amount of things in there...boggle the mind.

I came home with a random assortment of goodies: visor, shelving, books, files, clamps, ionic cleaner, and the best find of all - a dapping block and punches:

Mine is nowhere as clean and shiny, nor as nicely organized as the one shown above. It's got some rust, some patina, some scars. But some sandpaper and oil will take care of the rust. And the patina and scars would happen with use, anyway. This one's already broken in.  :)
The set is American made (so it's O-L-D; nearly every jewelry tool I buy is from overseas, either Pakistan, China, or Europe. Tools like this are not U.S.-made anymore). And it has been on my list of things to add to the studio. Plus I got it for about half of what a new one would retail for. :)
The day after I'd visited that studio, I went to my jewelry supplier for some metal and to ask questions about the other things I was considering buying. And I came home with this:
(the large version on the right). Which has NOT been on my list of things to buy...but I have had a sort of piece-meal, self-made organization system (i.e., not really working for me) system on the work table for some time now. Andthis looked like a much better solution to some of my storage / accesibility issues with tools, burs, etc. So I put some stuff into it and on it, but then realized I'd have to make some studio changes to accommodate it and also for the dapping set. Which made me realize (and it wasn't all this weekend, and overhaul's been sort of coming on for a while) that the studio needed some serious TLC and re-org-ing.

So that's where I find myself this morning:

Can you see the storage caddy? (just to the left of the trunk, in front of the drawers). Not exactly working to capacity from the floor.  :)

to the further left (not see in the photo) is my work table. I have a tiny path from the computer to the work I can work on my very necessary tasks...but the rest of the studio is a little out of seems like I have to make things even more chaotic and messy to arrive at a working solution! I'd hoped to be further along after this weekend but I obviously set my hopes too high.  :) dapping set and one storage caddy have brought about a whole overhaul-in-the-maknig. For want of a nail...

I'll post some more when it's further along but for's jewelry making time.  :)

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