The Birth of a Studio, Part 1

Where shall I begin?

I started bringing my art supplies over to my new home a couple of weeks ago. I was very lucky that I had time to do that instead of having to get it accomplished all in one weekend. However, now that I look back, it might have been a good idea to set up the structure – shelves, tables, portable storage – first before I dumped everything in the room. Now it looks like this.

The room is actually a downstairs family room in a split level house. There’s even a brick fireplace on the left hand wall behind where I was standing when I took the photo. I can have some nice cozy fires in the wintertime while I work. A couple of months ago this room was walled with dark wood paneling. I think the “slipper shell” color we painted it really brightens the room. My studio space is approximately 11′ x 12′. I’d like to have 3 work areas for beading, polymer clay and metalwork. This weekend I’m going to take a ride over to BJs to check out their portable tables. I’d like to purchase two 6 foot tables, one for beadwork and one for polymer clay. I’d love to find a jeweler’s bench for the metalworking area. A good friend suggested that I make paper cutouts of the components for my studio area and play around with placement. I love that idea and will probably play around with that this week before I get my tables. So, step one is to make paper cutouts to determine how the structure of my studio area will be setup.

Libby Mills has been interviewing artists and their studios in her blog posts, Studio Snapshot. You can read the latest one here. Knowing that I was setting up a new studio area, I’ve been avidly reading every interview. Two important considerations that have been consistent in each interview is lighting and the ability to face outside (if you can) while working. As you can see from my photos, I do have a sliding glass door leading out into the backyard. There’s a wooden deck over it so that does limit the light. Right now I just have one portable OTT lite so I’ll have to invest in more lighting.

Does anyone know where I can purchase a wooden jeweler’s bench?

14 comments on “The Birth of a Studio, Part 1

  1. I know where you can get plans to build one, does that help?

  2. Rebecca says:

    I love your studio space – such spaaace. I wish I had as much room. One of these days.

  3. Frivolitea says:

    Wow. Looks like a great start to a studio! I look forward to seeing how it unfolds.

  4. artandtea says:

    Thanks Barbara, I would be interested in looking at that.

    Take heart, Rebecca. I didn’t have any studio space for 4 years when I lived in my apartment. It will come for you, too.

    Thanks Lynn, I’m getting excited about having my own space! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Dora says:

    Karen, your studio room is fabulous !!! I agree, lighting is crucial for a good studio space, and facing the outdoors provides a lot of inspiration. Sure wish my studio room had these things…Besides being very small, the lighting is poor and the one small window looks out directly into my neighbor’s window ! It’s not the most pleasant space to work, but it will have to do ! Recently I’ve had fantasies of turning my dining room into my studio..The lighting is wonderful and it has a great view of the outdoors.

  6. artandtea says:

    Thanks Dora! Hey, who eats in the dining room these days? I say grab it for your studio! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Patricia says:

    Hi Karen, My lighting solution is half-a-dozen drafting lights from Ikea, fitted out with the highest wattage compact fluorescents I can find. There are even “daylight” versions now that work well. These are over each workspace. For my ceiling, I tacked aluminum pie pans above the light fixture and added high wattage cf’s. Here in Seattle, some days my studio is brighter than the outdoors!

  8. artandtea says:

    Thanks Patricia for your lighting suggestions!

  9. Acey says:

    Wow Karen, that’s an awesome creative space! Love the fact that it’s got a fireplace, too!

  10. artandtea says:

    Thanks Acey! Yes, the fireplace is great and something to look forward to about the wintertime. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Lisa Clarke says:

    Ooh, look at that blank canvas of a room! And with a fireplace, no less. I’m jealous ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. artandtea says:

    Thanks Lisa. At first, it was like staring at a blank page. I was petrified at the thought of starting but I’ve developed a rhythm now and keep telling myself that nothing is written in stone. I can rearrange it whenever I want.

  13. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing more wonderful for an artist than to have their own dedicated space. Enjoy the process of creating your studio! Don’t forget to plan in a place to sip tea!

  14. artandtea says:

    Thanks so much Cindy! I agree, a place to sip tea is very important.
    I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your comment earlier than this but WordPress marked your comment as Spam, for some odd reason. I just recovered it. Thanks again!

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