Saturday, June 29, 2013

An Attempt at Organizing Using Bins

Organizing a studio has always been a challenge. For me there are three important considerations.

1. Space/size of studio space. I've had large studios and very, very small ones (AKA closet with a light). Where we live now the studio is a small bedroom, about 8 by 11 with a small closet at one end and two largish windows. I mention windows because the bigger the window, the smaller the wall space.  No matter how much space I have it seems to never be enough so good organization and good organizers makes the most of whatever space is available.

2. Budget. I've used everything from shoe boxes, clean tin cans and duct tape to purchased plastic containers and good art studio furniture. Imagine my delight when I found these inexpensive, yet sturdy corrugated cardboard bins at a local store that sells shipping and moving boxes! Some are 12 inches deep and some are 18 inches deep and they come in a number of widths.

The first photo is my work table (a 24 inch wide hollow door) and the space above it where shelves keep so very many things close at hand. The shelves are deepest mid way up (just under the light) with the shelves below it less and less deep. The shelf under the light is 12 inches deep, the one under it is 8" deep and the one below that is 6" deep. This allows me to see what is on the shelves whilst sitting at the work table and also prevents small things from getting *lost* on deep shelves. On the shelves are cardboard bins (size is identified). They come flat and you fold and snap them together. (see the third photo - below right)  Notice that my molds are all in bins on the shelf just below the light and sorted by number making them easy to read and reach.
Cardboard bins

The second photo is a peek into the very crowded little closet. I've added a small metal shelf from Walmart and put four bins across for my clay. Each of the clay boxes has stickers identifying the brand of clay on the front of the bin. There is a Hodge-podge of bins across the top to hold miscellaneous stuff, like projects in progress etc. The reason the Pardo box is nearly empty is that I've got most of it in my travel box and have not returned it yet to the studio box. The brown box of Premo box holds extra Premo clay. 

3. Purpose: If you want to make 800 things to take to a craft show you may need more space than is needed than if you are making some jewelry for your mom or sister.

Also, if you plan to teach classes or host a guild meeting, consider the studio size if you don't have a dining room large enough for your classes or guild meetings. (Note, a nice dining room can become an instant studio with little rolling drawers and tool cart.)

Sometimes our budget and space won't work for a big craft show push but the very clever among us seem to create an amazing amount of stuff in a small, cramped place.

No matter how large or small your space, organization and good organizers will make the most of it and allow you the joy of creating, and help prevent the anguish of 
**Oh no!!, now where did I put that?**??

Happy claying all!!

Penni Jo 
Creator/designer/sculptor of Best Flexible Molds.

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