I am a messy person. Sometimes this gets in the way of actually getting things done and I get frustrated. Over the years I’ve picked up tools and tricks for keeping the chaos to manageable levels. Housekeeping has benefited a LOT by having an older child and another adult to help. Even though we’re all a little messy, when we all do a bit the house stays reasonable.
In the studio, it’s just me and I cycle from chaos to just a little cluttered about every 6 weeks. One part that drives me nuts is how messy my clay table gets. Part of that is the fact that some production scraps are good to use immediately (or almost immediately) in other projects like swirls, scrap mokume gane or new colours. So, I’d leave them out on the table knowing that if I boxed them up I’d have a “look what I found!” moment six months later. Someone said: immediately separate them by colour value in bowls. So I figured, why not. It has made a difference. I may end up with a few bowls on the table or shelf but at least it’s not scattered.
Drilling beads and other dust making work is another bane. I drill on my “dry” table, on a thick plastic mat. This works fine but makes for little curls of clay and dust EVERYWHERE. And since I suck at keeping that table clear I need some strategies here too. I’m thinking a larger mat, that I could roll up when not in use and stash in the corner or a tray to hold most of the crumbs. Probably enforcing the clean table rule would help too as there’d then be less pieces getting dusty.
I’m hoping that with a reeeeeeeeally good cleaning and a little cosmetic work these will turn into lovely displays for my shows. There’s a bunch more where I found them but I’m working in batches.
I always liked the idea of “booth lego” where I can use boxes and other items to both carry stock and arrange my booth with. I may sand down my current Ikea boxes back to plywood so that they’ll better mix and match.
Ah, bead table Wednesday! I’d done so well the last month, neat studio, clean desk and tables. Then the down-to-the-wire crunch came on. I opened another table in here and now all 4 horizontal surfaces are covered in clay, beads and show product!
Since I like working at my computer desk best it tends to accumulate the active mess pile.
Some pieces I finally scrape off one table and baked. Soon, they’ll get to the staging area.
Product that’s sorted or bagged to go to the shows. Yay!
I’d love to say there’s some order in the chaos… but right now, it’s hard to see.
Most of the shows I do are small, indoor shows with a table based setup – usually 1 8ft table, sometimes an 8ft and 1 or 2 6ft ones. I’ve cobbled together quite a collection of display items, table coverings and random STUFF in the last 12 years!
This year I decided I wanted a more custom and cohesive look. I wanted it to fit with the brand I have in mind – to use more of a clean but also nature inspired theme. I started by making notes of how I could do that using what I already have and adding a few pieces.
I kept my old table coverings but plan on editing how they are used a bit as I accumulate more of them. I’d like the green to get draped and mounded a bit on the table tops to make more of a grass or forest floor feeling. In their previous lives, these were clearance queen sized flat sheets and inexpensive fake satin drapes.
Speaking of forest… these are probably the biggest change. I had been experimenting with wood cut outs of trees to hang items on and finally drew up plans. My dad visited over the weekend and cut a TON OF THEM out for me so away I go. I have two sizes here and they will be excellent for hanging jewelry, ornaments… you name it. When not in use, they pack flat and they are super light.
Next up is swapping out some of my other fixtures for easier show items!
Indulge me in a little creative procrastination. Or productive avoidance. Anyways. I’m avoiding a bead order I should be working on by taking pictures of the clay table in my office. It’s a 5 foot by 2 foot counter top on trestle legs. I’m hoping to have it be white soon because the blue of it is harsh on colour picking.
If you click the picture, I have notes on the Flickr image. But mostly it’s crowded on the one end because that end is where my chair and computer desk are. So I tend to work where I can swivel back and forth. The far end has my shelves, organizer and my pasta machine. If I shove the chair I can roll right there.
These are the projects on the go: beads in progress for the order and for my shop. Beads that need holes made from the last of a cane by the fabulous Kathi Gose.
And some clay that needs to be tucked back in it’s home and blends that need to be caned ASAP.
These are over the far end of the table and are currently in a sort of ‘See if it works’ arrangement. The very top shelf will hold jewelrymaking supplies as I use those less often. The two below have tubs of cane pieces, various clays, tools, wraps, tiles, glass, cutters… you name it. We see my little Atlas and the green rolling cart in the lower right. The cart has the sort of random additions you can’t live without: more cutters, molds, stencils, sandpaper, pointy things, paints, inks, chalk, brushes, glitter, mica and general chaos.
OK, confessing to this insanity has cured my absent motivation. I now want to go hide and finish the dang beads.