People are always curious about where the things I create come from so I thought I'd share a little. First of all, they come from my hands, and mine alone, so keeping up is quite a job - but it's one I wouldn't trade for anything. Welcome to my little studio!
This is the view from the doorway as you step into my world. I spend most of my time in here creating, answering your questions, re-listing, and ordering new things. Occasionally, I clean up and it's getting to be time to do that now. I'm putting it off a bit, because I need an overhaul of sorts and I'm too busy, as well as not sure what the goal is - I want it to have an impact and it may mean breaking the studio into two rooms - the creative room, and the business/computer room. I haven't decided yet, so it is as it is.
As you step further into the room you see an absolutely invaluable cabinet on the right. A thrift store find for about $30 that I don't know how I lived without.
On top is where I keep my music - to keep the creative juices flowing as I'm working away, and within the cabinet - jars and jars of little pieces of what makes up my business - hoops, rings, components, bezel settings - all things I have made and ready to put the finishing touches on to ship out, or things that are completely ready to go. I spend most Fridays re-assessing this cabinet to see what needs to be made and put into stock so I am 'ahead of the game'.
And yes – that’s a fire extinguisher in the bottom of the cabinet. I work with a torch to make many of the pieces you receive so it’s important to consider safety when using open flame. It’s right there should I ever need it.
Further down the wall on the right is my work bench. Another inexpensive find – I purchased this piece from an ad in the paper for about $40. It is the best work bench I can imagine, and even though it’s a work bench, I must admit to a bit of sadness when my soldering brick got too hot and melted the top finish. Oh well – now it is truly broken in!
This bench is really the backbone of what I do. You can see my torch, my finishing dremel, and my polishing dremel-like tool. At the back of the bench is bead storage and the stack of plastic drawers on the right hold all of the sterling and copper wire and sheet I have on hand. My chair is on rollers and it gets a workout here – back and forth between the bench and the silver drawers and the computer station behind me when I hear a ‘ding’ in my email with a question, order, or comment from those who support me so wonderfully.
Every seller needs to show their pieces in a good photo. I am no expert but have learned a few things from others willing to share their information. Natural light where possible is what I’ve found best. I keep some props in front of the window where I can set up some good scenes for photos. On nice days, I take it outside for even better shots. The mannequins are a valuable addition to my photos and add a lifelike element that helps buyers make a decision based on size, placement, etc. I know they look a little odd, but they’re my ‘buddies’ – even the headless one ;)
My newest addition to the studio is this funky, lime green bench. I just knew I had to have it, even though it wasn’t exactly in the budget. I picked it up at a 2nd hand store (sense a theme here?). The guy wanted $95 and I got it for $75. It is the shipping bench and holds everything I need to get orders ready to ship out – thank you tags, envelopes, my stamp, customs forms, boxes, tape, ribbon, etc. It has a drawer to hold post-its, pens, pencils, paperclips and more – is loaded with cubby holes, nooks and crannies, and even has glass shelving with mirrors behind it. I love it! Someone has painted the words “love”, “be free”, and “magic” on the cupboard doors, and I truly think it was made for me.
So yes, I do need to clean up a bit, although my friend Sharon from MetalRocks assures me that I’m tidier than many artists she’s met over the years. I do know that when I get too much mess, I have to clean up or the creative energy stops flowing.
Thank you so much for taking the time to walk through the studio with me and I hope it helped give you a better sense of who I am and where the pieces you wear come from.