Friday, May 9, 2014

Studio Organization Ideas

It is nice to have a clean and tidy studio again as I prefer to work in a well organized and uncluttered environment.  It has also helped improve production and my first day back to claying I decided to make a lot of new canes.  The intense colors in these remind me of a box of crayons and the patterns found in a coloring book.

Now that the studio is pretty much organized, I thought I would share a few organizing tips that I have applied.  I don't have a huge budget for new furnishings and consider myself to be good at improvising with what we already have.  Sometimes taking an item and using it in a different way than intended can be inspiring.

We have these metal shelves that are very useful.  They not only provide support in holding up our long countertop (clay table) but they are also strong enough to hold all of our clay supply which is away from direct heat and sunlight.

As you can see, we go through a lot of clay (yes these are the large blocks) and our order from Shades of Clay just arrived today.  Most of it fit here except for the extra case of black and transluscent.

We order extra (double our usual amount) in the spring before the hot summer arrives as it takes nearly a week to get here and we do not want the clay to "bake" in any trucks that might be sitting during transit.  Some of our large shows are in the early fall so it is important that we have enough clay to get us through the summer.

We found these little drawer units a while ago and I tested them out to see if the clay could be stored in them.  It turns out that the clay doesn't react at all to the plastic so I like to keep the open blocks of each clay color organized.  This way when I need some, it is quick and handy to grab.  I also have one drawer just for the "white mix", wrapped in deli sheets, that I use a lot of.

This simple book shelf sits on our clay table and is perfect for organizing all the containers that hold our canes and mixed color blends.  I still need to label a few of them but pretty much know what is in each one of them.

This is a simple cardboard stationary box that I've had for some time now.  The top part works as a dispenser for our deli sheets and the drawer works for stashing things like the shop towel.  Shop towels come in a roll like paper towel, but are much stronger and can be used over and over.  They are also lint-free which is a good thing when working with polymer clay.  The sheets are quite large so I like to cut them in quarters.

This is an old metal file cabinet that is used as a base for our large work counter.  It was an ugly grey color which we painted black.  The bottom drawer holds a lot of files but I found that one of the drawers is perfect for holding most of our texture sheets and moulds, etc. and all of our shape cutters fit in the top shallow drawer. 

The coolest thing about this cabinet is the pull out "shelf" at the top which can come in handy at times.

Lastly, a studio isn't complete without at least one OttLite which is a more accurate way to see true color.  We have several throughout our studio -- with two of them in my sewing area and one here.  It is on the jewelry making table but also right next to the clay table so is handy for color matching and mixing.

You will notice the metre (yard) stick attached to the front edge of the counter.  I never have to look for my ruler again this way.  If you don't have a yard stick you can always attach a tape measure instead.  This one has both imperial (inches) as well as metric (centimeters) measurements which is useful.


Cynthia Blanton said...

I'm impressed!!!

Mal said...

Oh Carolyn, what a wealth of fabulous ideas! An inspiration. Indeed. As soon as I recover from this trip, I will be in there like a human tornado inspired by you and Dave. Loved the idea about getting stocked up on clay before the heat. Good thing to consider both here AND there!

2 Good Claymates said...

Happy to hear that my tips are useful to others. I always like to share things that I myself am always interested and hoping others are as well.

So good to hear from you Wendy! I've been following your travels on your blog and looks like fun but most likely exhausting. There is no place like home?