Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Studio Recycling or what happens when claustrophobia hits!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

My studio has been evolving. I had finally moved so much stuff in to "make my life easier", that I could barely walk through and couldn't find anything! Soooooooooooo…

Saturday I started reorganizing, moving some of the "stuff" that had collected in the studio out to the storage building and bringing some other "stuff" in from the storage building. While this might not sound like a productive thing to do, it worked out very well.

I needed a place where I could store my blocks of clay, both the 2 oz. size from the local stores and the 1 lb blocks that I order online. I also needed a place where I could store beads, jewelry findings and all the little miscellanea that goes with working with polymer clay. I have some cabinets with deep drawers, but small things tend to get lost in there.

I had purchased two drawer units from one of our local "big box" stores. The thing I like about these particular drawer units (I already have three that I'm using elsewhere) is that they are all wood – no pressed board! And they were on sale!!!)

Although they come with wheels, I elected to sit them on a table that I already had in the studio to make them a more workable height. It worked well enough but added to the claustrophobia. It also put the drawers too high for me to easily see what was in them while seated at my work table.

While moving some of the "stuff" out to the storage building, I found two wooden cassette cabinets that my late husband had before we married so they probably date back to whenever cassette tapes started replacing 8-track tapes. They have been in storage since 1997 when we moved out of a perfectly good 3 bedroom house into a 35' motorhome (long story for another day!) The cassette cabinets were PERFECT! Or at least with a little bit of work, they became perfect! They had wooden dividers spaced for a standard cassette case. I pulled some of the wooden dividers out and now have plenty of storage for my blocks of clay and in a very organized way. But they had very tiny feet – only about ¼" high – so I build a 6" high platform to raise them up and that made the base of my unique studio cabinet.

After a good sanding and a couple of coats of trim paint (left over from the last time I painted the studio), I set them on the platform and filled one cabinet with clay and the other with beads and findings. Then I applied sand paper and paint to the two drawer units to give it all a more cohesive look. The drawer units were light wood, the cassette cases were very dark wood. But now they look like they belong together.

I guess the morale of this story is – look and see what you already have that can be repurposed before you go buying something new. I'm getting good at repurposing. I'm going to close with the promise of another repurposing project for a very cool display unit in my next post that I think you will all be impressed with!

An it's a good thing too because one of the blogs that I follow is have a bead give away contest! You can read more about it here. If I'm the lucky winner, I'll need space to put new to me beads and findings to play with. Wish me luck! And go check it out!


K.C. said...

Wonderful tips Arlene and thanks for sharing them with the world! I'm sure many will be inspired to make their studios and work spaces more efficient after reading your tips!

Alice Stroppel said...

Your space is sooo.. much neater than mine will ever be. You are the my hero for organization. Great tips.

Arlene Harrison said...

Thanks! It was only neat long enough to take a picture!