OK - I've been at this jewellery making malarkey long enough to know that I'm not the only one whose workspace is a mess but the frustration is growing and I fear I am reaching the end of my tether. This is was it looks like most of the time these days not to mention the stuff that has spread around the rest of the house...
I've never been good at clearing one thing away before I start on the next despite the fact that it was my mothers mantra for most of my childhood years. I think the concept must be alien to a creative mind that has to act on an idea when it happens not after the washing, vacuuming or dusting have been done. This wasn't a problem when I was solely making jewellery but since I've been making components and become steadily busier, managing my workspace has become more and more stressful and despite constant reorganisation, I have finally run out of room.
I've just had a good clear up though so I thought I'd take you on a little tour of my 'bijoux studio' by which I mean the 9' x 6'6" third bedroom in my small three bedroom house that started life as a study and still has to fulfill that function too. It's actually quite difficult to photograph this room as you can't get enough distance to get everything in so my apologies for the less than brilliant photos.
This is my desk/worktable and this is where I have to do all my creating...metal clay work, jewellery design and fabrication - the sum total of available flat surface, with the exception of the floor of course. Beneath the table there are boxes 'out of sight out of mind' stuff (which means I can't remember what but I haven't missed it so who cares!) various boards, mats and assorted other miscellany. The draw unit however is one of the most important things in the room housing as it does 3 large boxes of art beads and a smaller box of Czech glass beads - I like to be near my art beads at all times!
Garden designers always recommend that if you only have a small space go vertical with your design and I adopted that principle a while ago, hence the cheap pine bookcase that stands on top of the desk. Nothing bespoke or designer here - everything is of the cheap and cheerful variety. This is home to all my findings, shipping documentation and all those bit and pieces that are useful to have at hand.
To the left of this we have my metal clay table with all it's associated tools and consumables. When I set this up the aim was that I would actually do my clay work here but as you can see it's been completely sacrificed as a depository for equipment and numerous pots of bronze and beads in various stages of completion. In any case it's too small for the quantity I produce now and the rather messy nature of metal clay means it's impractical to have other projects out when I'm working on clay so it all has to go away.
The large bookcase houses the study element of the room with all my household files and a collection of art history books from my studies with the Open University a few years back. I have half a Humanities degree which I hope to complete at some stage. This area also houses three shelves of tools, equipment, more wire, boxes of beads, buttons, leather and linen cord.
So you can see that I can organise and everything has it's place but even though it all looks quite tidy here, the moment I start work chaos will take over and I guarantee it will look like the first picture within 24 hours and I have to say it's beginning to get me down. The time I spend clearing up after every session is wasted time to me but I can't not make a mess. I dream of multiple workstations where I can leave things be while I move on to another task. I'm about to start making stock for my first bead show and lord knows where that's going to go!
So, what to do short of moving house which isn't really an option...well I could take over the larger guest bedroom and tell visitors they'll have to stay in a hotel but I can't see that going down too well though and actually, I think I may have a better idea...
It's my birthday tomorrow and a milestone one in as much as I will reach an age where I can choose to start taking a pension from an occupational scheme I contributed to for a large part of my career. It dawned on me the other day that with this pension comes the option of a tax free lump sum and do you know what...I'm thinking maybe I might just take some of that lump sum and turn that cold, dark garage into a bespoke studio/workshop. I worked hard so I think I've earned it and it's crazy that the thing I love to do most and spend the larger portion of my life doing is all crushed into the tiniest room in the house. What do you think...good idea...you'll all support me on this won't you...?
Anyone know the phone number of a reliable builder....
The Gossiping Goddess