Welcome to my world….

Thought it might be time for a little studio tour for those who haven’t seen it!  This is where Mother and I spend a large chunk of our time, both working and playing.

If I were a techie instead of a glassie, I’d have a really cool 3-D video tour to show you, but I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for still photos instead.  😀  Our studio is in one enclosed stall of my 3-car garage.  Its not fancy, but it sure suits our needs.

Our bench

We’ll start where most of the magic happens….our bench!  When I decided to build the studio, we drew out the size and shape of our bench, including a return on each side for extra tools, mandrel buckets, etc., and had a friend build it to our specifications.  We have another friend in the heat and air business, and he cut, bent and installed the metal top for us.  Our ventilation system was also built to specs for us by Glasscraft, and it does a great job venting the studio.  Mother and I both work on GTT Crickets and oxygen concentrators from Unlimited Oxygen, and we share a kiln in the center of the bench for all of our soft glass.

Storage and boro kiln

To the right of my end of the bench, we’ve got this great storage cabinet. The drawers hold all kinds of stuff from frits, shards and murrini to all of our books and tutorials in that ginormous bottom drawer.  The other cabinet stores our extra torches, hoses, regulators and manifold that we use when we host classes for our ISGB chapter.  The chilipepper kiln on top is my boro kiln.

"Friends" bench

Mother and I LOVE it when we have playmates come to visit, so directly behind our bench, we keep two spare torches hooked up at all times. (Also GTT Crickets)  This is also the area where we keep our bead presses, extra handtools, and most of our soft glass frits.  You can also see the little chop saw we use to cut tubing for coring beads.

104 COE glass rack

This is our 104 COE glass rack.  CIM, Reichenbach, Kugler and Vetrofond oddlots on the top shelf, silver glass and Effetre opaques on the second, and Effetre transparents on the third.  The bottom shelf is just overflow of common colors that we order in bulk.  The turntables on top of the shelving unit contains enamels, and yes….you know its coming….more frits.  😀

More storage

To the right of the 104 rack is another storage unit where we keep our maintenance tools and other sundries.  A small spare kiln and a couple of extra concentrators are on hand in case of breakdowns, and the dart board is a fun way to blow off some steam when the glass just isn’t flowing the way we think it should.  😀

More glass!

The second glass rack contains all of our other COEs.  Bullseye is on top, all 96 COE brands in the middle, and boro color below that.  On top of the rack, our business license is displayed, along with extra bubble wrap and packing supplies.

The breakroom

I loved the workbench I have in my metal room so much, I got us another one for the glass studio!  It gives us a nice place to sit and have a cup of coffee in the wintertime (in the summer we’re out on the deck that’s attached to the exterior door to the left of this shot).  It also serves as a great place to unpack and label our glass orders when they come in, and the drawers add some extra storage for odds and ends.  I also keep my rolling mill in this area on a nice little table that’s bolted to the wall for stability.  On the shelves below, all of my metal etching materials are stored, along with texture plates for the rolling mill.  Above that area is what we jokingly call our “Wall of Flame”.  Everyone who comes to our studio to teach or play has to sign the wall.  😀  This wall is my very favorite part of the studio.  Every single signature up there brings up its own set of VERY happy memories, and Mother and I feel so blessed to have so many creative and talented people in our lives and we’re proud to call each and every one of them friends.

I’d love to see pictures of your studio space.  Care to share??


Good things come in small packages….

Even studios!  My friends are constantly kidding me about needing to “come out of the closet”.  No, not THAT closet….my metal closet!  I converted a 9-1/2 foot by 5-1/2 foot walk-in closet in my bedroom into a mini-metalworking studio!  Its amazing how much stuff you can put into a small space.

I purchased a workbench at Harbor Freight Tools and managed to squeeze it along one wall.  This is where I do my cutting, sawing, pounding, polishing and designing.  See the foredom hanging from underneath the closet shelf at the end?  What a little workhorse!

Metal working bench

When you’ve got such a small space to work with, going vertical is an absolute must!  I extended my storage options by adding a bench topper.  It has two railed shelves, and even though its only 6 inches deep, it holds a ton of stuff!  Mine is crammed full of metal stamps, alphabet stamps, my forming stakes, and a pretty box of metal sheet that is already textured and ready to be transformed.  Above the bench, I hung a half-sheet of pegboard and created the “hammer shrine” for my pretty Fretz hammers and all the other forging tools I need.

Vertical Storage

On the opposite wall behind my chair, I’ve got shelves and cubbies crammed full of metal, jewelry findings, seed beads, yarn, books….anything and everything I could need for finishing those special projects.  And check out the cool library card catalog cabinets!  Those were a birthday gift this year, and now I’ve got drawers to spare.  That must mean its time to go shopping again, right?  😉

Cubbies and drawers

I hope my little studio tour gave you some ideas on how to maximize the space you’ve got to work with.  If you have great storage ideas you’d like to swap, please leave a comment and tell me all about them!  😀