Sunday, July 27, 2008

My tiny studio - in the works!

So a long time ago I promised that I would bring you updates as my studio progressed. Well, so far we've gutted what used to be the pantry and the setup in there is bare-bones with most things mocked up to see if it would all fit and work as a bead-making space.

I'm happy to say that it appears that the space will do nicely for a tiny, in-house bead studio. Of course, it would be splendid if I could build myself a bead castle like some other folks but my homeowner's association would never let that fly and we're saving a major studio for the day when we have a couple of acres to ourselves and DH can have the woodworking space he's hankering for.

In the meantime here are some pics of my very unfinished space.

Above see a pic of just about the whole workspace. It needs tweaking. We're designing a custom tabletop that will be L-shaped so that I have room to spread things out. The kiln that you see at table top level will move up onto a shelf about a foot or so above the tabletop so it doesn't feel quite so crowded at elbow height.

The hood needs some further work. It's been difficult to find the best setup for a corner but everything works nicely and it just needs some beautification. I'm also working on a nicer method of baffling the setup to keep all the fumes travelling in the right direction and not escaping.

You'll see the flexi-pipe underneath the table. That's bringing in my make-up air that flows through a register at the back of my table. The register can be opened and closed so that it keeps out the majority of air when it's not in use.

That cream colored cabinet was a $5 find and is an old dental tool cabinet. It's perfect for that small space and offers a ton of storage solutions. I love the narrow top drawers for laying out tools and storing stuff like silver wire etc. The larger bottom drawers I use for my presses and misc. frit and frit-making tools. The smaller silver cabinet next to it I use for all of my frit jars. They're separated by color family :) This cabinet is almost full!

The opening you see on the left is to the crawl space under the stairs. We're working on emptying out all junk that's accumulated there and then what we plan to do is where the wall is next to the opening we'll open up the spaces between the framing and build custom storage for glass. I'm really only wanting space to stack all the fence rail and perhaps that would also allow for some recessed space where I could put my stereo? Right now my glass is all underneath the kiln (on a rolling cart) and I'd like to get stuff off the floor in that area so that the working space stays relatively uncluttered.

The plan in the next little while is to re-sheetrock the 2 walls that form the corner where I'll be working. I'll be tiling the tabletop and carrying it up the walls to create a 1-1.5ft high "back splash" to protect the walls from all the hot stuff. We found some really cheap, blow-out flooring at the Lowes so I'll have manufactured flooring in an oak? pine? color that I won't worry about glass falling on etc.

That's about all the planning I've gotten done. I'll post more pics as we work on the room and hopefully get to the finished product sooner rather than later!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

So little to say...

Another month has come and gone which just goes to prove that I usually don't have much to say. Actually, most of my friends would probably laugh their heads off at that statement :) I usually have something to say about everything else but me!

Lots has changed in the last month, especially in the last 2 weeks. I made some huge changes to my career - still in the same field but making a move to some different places. I really struggled with this decision as it meant leaving all those near and dear to me. I've spent the last year and a half working, laughing, cursing with these folks. Most of them taught me just about everything I know and it's going to be tough not seeing them on a daily basis.

I am looking forward - with a bit of trepidation - to moving on to bigger, though who knows if better, things. We'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll come back and blog about the new job.

In the meantime I've cleaned up my bead studio. Dipped a gadjllion mandrels. Pulled endless feet of stringer. I'm ready! That means beads in the near future. Keep checking in!