Saturday, February 20, 2010

Art Studiette in a motor home

Motor Home Studiette
(Tiny Studio)

Recently I was asked how a sculptor/designer, like myself, travels with paints, clay and enough other art stuff to be able to comfortably sculpt, paint or draw in a motor home. When I began to describe where and how the things were stored and used it was obvious that words were not enough. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s how this old artist does it. Even if one doesn't have an RV, this layout might help an artist with very little space organize a tiny bit of a room for clay play, etc.

Photo one - left: looking toward the windshield, on the right is the passenger seat in the rig. It swivels all the way around.

Photo two - left: was taken from above the driver’s chair.

When driving, the seats face forward. After parking, both the passenger and driver seats rotate into the room, creating a cozy ‘living room’. When traveling, nearly all of the boxes, totes, and lighting is stowed in the basement and all clay goes in a bedroom cabinet as heat can cure the clay.

Our diesel rig is one of those that has the rig entry door in the center of the side, like a gas rig, leaving a large, unused space in front of the passenger seat. Normally this space is where the stairs and the entry are located. Instead, there is a nice open area for a work table and storage.

The photos have little numbers on them to identify the contents.

Photo three - below: is the lower center console.

1. Laptop on a pull out table. To the right is the electric pencil sharpener.
2. Makin’s Pasta Machine Motor
3. Makin’s Pasta Machine
4. 60-watt gooseneck lamp on a PVC pipe extension.
5. 18 watt Ott lamp
6. Three tin cans taped together to hold tools, pencils, pens, brushes, etc.
7. Craft Space Desktop with work in progress all over it.
8. Table Mate at lowest setting.
9. White, wood top of desk.
10. Cardboard box to carry class supplies back and forth to the Art Class that I teach in the park. In it are some inexpensive watercolors and polymer clay for students to try out before investing in expensive materials.
11. Books, notebooks, packet with printouts for classes, etc.
12. Jewelry making box one, wire, head pins, and pierced ear wires, embossing powders, holeless beads etc.
13. Jewelry making box two: settings of all sizes, clamps, chains, jewels, spacers, etc.
14. Tote with tiny cutters and small bottles of hope ready to cover.
15. Larger cutters for boxes, cabochons, etc.
16. Baby wipes with alcohol for cleaning hands between colors.
17. Tiny box with liner for trash.
18. “Finish Me!” tote with partly finished projects along with supplies, beads, trays and whatever else is needed to finish them.
19. Box of finished jewelry and settings.
20. Box of finished larger items like inros and cookie cutter boxes.
21. Original urethane rubber push-molds.
22. Box of skinner blend blocks and small to tiny millefiori canes for embellishing jewelry and other items.
23. Hot press Watercolor block. 20 heavy watercolor sheets bound on all four sides with an open, unbound area preventing the paper from buckling when wet. When finished, the topmost page can be removed by sliding a dull blade into the unbound spot. The blade is slid around the block, releasing the page.
24. Tiny leather tote with Windsor Newton Water Color self contained kit with flask. An assortment of brushes including a mop, paper towels, small sea sponge, mechanical pencil, sepia pencil, kneaded eraser and Frisket are in a side pocket. (This tote and the watercolor block fit in my handbag and travel with me on airplane flights to stave off boredom and provide an opportunity to practice.)
25. Gallon freezer bag full of black wet or dry sand paper in three grits.
26. Uh-oh, goof up here: White number 26 on a black item - Laptop carry bag. Black number 26 on white – Paper towels
27. Motherboard box with baking surfaces, tiles, cardboard and cardstock.
28. Motherboard box with Mica powders, both PearlEx and LuminArte. Fimo Pulver in five colors, brushes, and Ranger markers for mica powder.
29. Motherboard box marked Faces. Cabochons with stamped portraits ready to color. Pitt pens, 36 color set of Walnut Hollow Oil Colors, Exacto knife, step-by-step colored cabochons showing the steps to coloring portraits on polymer clay cabochons. To the right of this mother board box are 1, a mother board box of original rubber stamps; 2, mother board box with a variety of Stewart Superior stamp inks in lots of colors.
30. Box of cheap, fold over sandwich bags. The edges are cut away to leave a long strip of plastic used to store and secure sheets of conditioned clay. All clay is conditioned and run through on the widest setting, laid between two sheets of plastic for storage.
31. This is the corner of the tote that holds conditioned clay divided into five categories. Regular colored clay, Translucent clay both plain and tinted, Metallic and Pearl clays, Neutral colors such as ivory, ecru, tan, brown, etc, and Black and White. To use I simply pull the desired color from the tote, remove the plastic and put it through a pasta machine to ‘wake it up’. Since the starting sheets are already thin, there is rarely any crumbling or difficulty using the preconditioned clay.
32. Big front windshield on the passenger side.
33. Side window. Usually, in a diesel rig, this is the entry with a door.
34. Dashboard
35. Box is shown near the bottom, out of order. This little box holds the extruder with disks, light bulb forms (used to make the tiny mushroom house) large roll of tape, glass drops for magnifying refrigerator magnets.
36. Photographic background. I can shoot pics on the black velvet square or on the dash. The lighting at this place on the dash is most excellent during the day as it is on the north side of the rig.
37. Most important work box. Contains duplicates of nearly every important polymer clay tool. Acrylic roller, scissors, jewelry pliers, blades, sculpting tools, ruler, fiber fill, water mister, container of corn starch, tiny container of Kato liquid, brushes for both paints and liquid clay, 18 K gold Krylon marker, Varnish, rubber finger tips to avoid hurting fingers while sanding, sand paper in three grits, clamps, tip drill with assortment of drill bits, Exacto knives with fancy handles, new blades, razor blades, etc, etc. This box goes to all classes and guild meetings.
38. Colored pencils. One set of Walnut Hollow and one set of Lyra Rembrandt oil pencils. Behind them is a card with envelope.
39. Black numbers 9 by 12 pads. Two are drawing. One is a watercolor pad. White numbers: small 8.5 inch by 5.5 inch pad. This smaller one goes in my handbag. Behind them are completed drawings ready to be transferred to watercolor or drawing paper.
40. Hand pencil sharpener.

It’s a delight to be able to travel with so many tools, clay and extras. The work lights are a great help. As is the laptop with wifi so I can search google images, stay in contact with friends and family, and post from just about anywhere.


Allyson Hamilton said...

Wow Penni rock! I can't believe you worked so hard to take pictures, label and list everything in your incredibly organized art studiette!
Travel safely. I'm going to miss you more than you know.
Allyson Hamilton

Lynn said...

I second Allyson's comment- you ROCK! I enjoyed seeing how you fill the space so effectively, as my stuff ends up all over my house. Particularly love the way you store your conditioned clay- that's a gem of a tip. I SO much enjoyed meeting you and learning from you these past two months!

TJ said...

Thx, Penni Jo. You are so organized, which I know you have to be to travel extensively in an RV. To know which container had the supply I needed would be a miracle for me. Guess I'll have to get better as we start traveling more in our trailer. When I'm working in the front seat of our Explorer as we travel, I end up with no place for my legs or feet! Can't wait until our day to get our RV so I can have a Studiette...uh, I mean an organized Studiette!!! Thx for the pics and explanations. Even that is organized. Amazing!!

Melobeau said...

I am in awe of your studiette set up AND your work (Mushroom house and pendants are terrific!) I learnt seom very helpful tips to survive as a travelling artist. Thanks for posting all the hints and pictures.

Sue C said...

We have a Fifth Wheel and when we purchased it it was with the idea that I HAD to have my mini clay studio in it. I'm so glad to hear of someone else doing this. Hopefully someday you'll hear the sound of a pasta machine motor humming along and come on over to say hello, LOL. Hugs and smiles

Ellie AKA Claylady43 said...

Thanks to you all for the encouraging comments. We will be headed south again soon and I'm looking forward to seeing many of you again.

Penni Jo