This weeks winner is Carol of Dillman's Dallies! You have won a pair of that awesome earring tree from Miss Fickle Media. Please email Shannon with your address so she can ship that off to you.
And now we'll join Lori Anderson in her studio...
Today I'm going to give you a bit of a tour through my studio. This might take a little bit, because I don't have ONE studio, but a lampwork studio, a work space, and an office. All three handle distinctly different things, and I love them all for distinctly different reasons.
So grab a drink and a snack and settle in, why don't you?
We'll start first with my work space -- the kitchen table.
(Click all the photos for a larger look).
I found a desk organizer from TJMaxx that is perfect for my tool caddy. The drawer holds beading wire, files, and tools I use every day (I have a tool box, a large cookie jar, and a tray for the random tools that I use on occasion but still MUST have). I use a self-healing cutting mat and cover it with a Vellux beading pad (secured with clips) for my work surface. I LOVE the blue mat because it has a ruler at the bottom. Very handy.
To the left of the beading area is a wooden tray (a silverware tray from IKEA). I keep a bunch of beading supplies in it that I need at hand for the day in this nifty little gadget.
Behind my chair is my bead cabinet, made by Collectors Cabinets. LOVE this cabinet. It holds a million beads so I'm not sure why there are a million and a half scattered all over my table, but... you know what it's like.
The top drawers hold a plastic tackle box easily with room at the front and sides for overage, and the bottom can hold either two tackle boxes or, as you can see by my system, a heck-ton of baggies.
I like working at my kitchen table for many reasons. I can look outside through the double sliding doors (my lampwork studio is right in view), and since we have an open plan first floor, I can enjoy my family while I'm working on jewelry.
Now on to the work horse of the Lori Anderson Designs operation -- the office.
Running a jewelry business is my full-time job. I'm a single-person company, getting help only when my husband sets up and takes down my booth and tent at craft shows. Most of the time, I'm sitting at this desk, writing blog articles, updating my web site, PhotoShopping pictures, writing invoices, entering receipts, organizing marketing plans, applying to shows, wrapping packages, etc. And etc. And.... etc.
A quick tour. On the left side : the pink metal lunch box holds pretty greeting cards as I like to send customers and colleagues snail mail from time to time. Underneath, I store jewelry boxes (I'm running low, I see). A rack of file folders takes up the rest of the left side of the desk. On the right side, on the printer, is my stack of marketing postcards and my Zentangle box. Above the desk is my collection of Swarovski crystal snowflakes.
Next to the desk is my credenza filled with boring files and receipts, but it's topped with some interesting inspiration -- two very vintage typewriters. I learned to type on a manual typewriter when I was eight and have been tested out on typing at a speed of 90-120 wpm. I started writing stories when I was six. So when I look over at those typewriters, I get inspired. I think, YES, even beyond making jewelry, there are other things I can do.
Next comes my photo staging area, which is relatively new since I put away my light tent and professional lamps.
I love this darned table. Sometimes when I'm stumped or tired out or even sad, I can twirl around in my desk chair and just stare at this table. It's so full of STUFF!
The shelf above holds a mix of modern and vintage -- a handmade doll by Vanessa Valencia, a pottery fish by a friend of mine in the craft show biz, a bottle collection, and an old camera. On the table are old ledgers, fabric boxes, pieces of wood, another vintage typewriter (and next to it, a vintage tin toy typewriter), vases, bits and bobs, all things that I have bought, found, or been gifted that either will make a cool photo prop or just makes my studio feel pretty.
Barely out of the picture in the bottom right, you can see my metal work table, where I can pound rivets and punch metal. Cool table, inexpensively purchased at Harbor Freight (click here) for $28. Expect to curse a little when putting it together, though, unless you were a bit more clever than either me or my husband!
I have a lot of beading books in my office bookcase, too.
Now let's go outside to the lampwork studio!
The lampwork studio is very new (built last year) and I only torch a few months out of the year because I don't have enough hours in the day to keep up with making jewelry for the various shows and projects I have going on. One day, that may change, but for now, it's where I run to when I need a zen moment. There's nothing else you can think about when you're melting glass BUT the glass. Start worrying about bills, the kids, or the number of cookies you ate before dinner, and you're liable to either burn yourself or your beads will rebel and look at you with reproachful eyes. ("Dear. I know you can do better than THAT.")
Here's my studio being built.
I found an L-shaped desk (again, at IKEA) and I covered the top with ceramic tile to create a fire-proof surface. Then, before the torch was even lit, the interior designer in me went to work.
There had to be a mural in one corner...
...and as you can see, the walls and part of the ceiling are painted in three different colors. I added a chill-out space to relax and read up on how-to books and tutorials that I store in pretty boxes by the chair. (What? Doesn't every studio have a fake tree?).
My glass storage on my actual work bench is heavy-bottomed square glass vases from Pottery Barn. For mass-glass storage, though, I needed something bigger, and one day, in an antique barn in Pennsylvania, I found it -- an old postal sorting bin made out of oak. I BARELY got it to fit in the van, but after three men sweat and swore and shoved, we got it in with only a few splinters to show for it. And it's perfect.
Those pink and purple curtains you see to the top right swing down and cover the whole shebang for dust protection, and also to cover the storage-of-stuff shelves that AREN'T pretty above the sorting bin. That sorting bin? It's five feet (at least) wide and four feet-ish tall. Cooooool beans.
I hope you enjoyed your tour -- it was a long one, wasn't it? But since my job is pretty much a 24/7 deal, I surround myself with pretty, interesting things no matter what room I happen to work in. I think it's important to find a way to make your space your own, whether it's a corner of the basement or a full-fledged studio space. After all, the first thing a visitor to your realm will see is how it's decorated, and it should be a reflection of yourself.
Whether your studio is on your kitchen table or spread across your home, how have you made that space feel more creative? Leave a comment for a chance to win this ceramic bird pendant by Spirited Earth.
Now go out, create, and decorate!
Lori Anderson is a full-time jewelry designer residing in Maryland. She writes the blog Pretty Things, and you can see her work at Lori Anderson Designs.