Thursday, October 25, 2007
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
Thursday, October 18, 2007
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 rejects....one 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!