Thursday, October 25, 2007

Boston Handmade

One of the best things about leaving the corporate world to become a working artist is meeting and hanging out with like minded folks. A bunch of Etsy shops in metro Boston got together to form a kind of guild - we have a blog, do shows, get together for brainstorming, demos and general stitch and bitch sessions. We're all hip and funky and young (at least at heart!). Now all we need is a couple of crafty guys to join up!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Is it really late October?

Originally uploaded by stonehousestudio
It's been so warm lately that I've been thinking about trees and flowers and nature. Because if we keep melting the polar icecaps, we may not have much of the real thing left. Think Green!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Studio

I believe that a workspace has a direct effect on your end product. Maybe it's all those years as a travel manager in an advertising agency where I had to juggle ten things at once, but, for me, organization is key. I simply cannot work in a topsy-turvy environment. Very un-artistic, I know. That doesn't mean my studio doesn't get messy, because it does. But the minute I can't find something, I stop what I'm doing and clean up. I also make a point of organizing and cleaning up at the end of the day. Keeping things tidy and in their place is an integral part of good craftsmanship.

My studio is a work in progress. It's not very stylish, but it's functional. I have four workstations, the first being my main table where I work on polymer and metal. It's a bare bones formica student desk - I use the pull-out keyboard tray for storage! Note the two pasta machines, glass and tile surfaces, baskets for on-going projects, a office organizer for veneer sheets and baking tiles, and a lazy susan and wire baskets to hold stuff and tools. On the wall, I have an inspiration board, more tools hanging on a bulletin board and a letter organizer where I keep my silkscreens, transfers and texture sheets. For metal work, I have a benchpin/anvil combination, another benchpin for drilling and a vise. Last, but not least, a task light and good, strong lamp.

My second workstation is for fabrication. I design and string on two beadboards and use multi-drawer hardware containers to store my findings. I sort my finished components in individual plastic bags, ready to be put together. I keep my tools in two pen holders and have a really good light with a magnifying glass. Those containers full of stuff are my polymer of these days I'll throw them out!

The third is a general use area. This is where I polish my polymer work and organize and package my finished pieces. That funny looking thing with the metal rods with ball ends is a dapping block and punch set, used for rounding metal. The tall piece of wood is a bracelet mandrel. I don't have room for them on my main table, so I keep them here. I think they look very sculptural...

My fourth workstation is my business area. This is where I keep my laptop, phone, printer and filing cabinets. Only paperwork ever touches this area.

Finally, bookshelves and a couple of those nasty plastic drawer thingies for storage (my books are slowly finding other homes as I need more space). And, of course, a comfy chair, otherwise my muse simply doesn't show up!