A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Artist in Her Studio

As I read other artists’ blogs, I see lots of pictures of their new studios, their old studios, their new-and-improved studios. So I thought I would post some photographs of my studios. Yes, I have more than one, since I never know when inspiration will strike and I like to be able to just stop wherever I am, while an idea is fresh, and make some jewelry.

My main studio. I love Asian décor, and as you can see I have a glass top Japanese-style work bench, i.e., it has short legs so you have to sit on the floor. The glass top is so I can watch myself work. I have cleverly paired it with easily interchangeable/movable on-the-floor Studio Seating from Pottery Barn in a Kilim pattern. Sometimes I put this seating on the couch because it’s pretty. I might lean against it when I’m taking a break or watching Lost, or rest my head on it if I’m taking a nap.

I am a big fan of multi-purposing, you know, use what you have for multiple things (because I love the Earth) so my studio is currently being double-purposed as a living room. I love that my glass top Japanese-style work bench is right in front of the TV so I can listen to HGTV while I work (someone needs to spill coffee on David Bromstad so he will take his shirt off). And my boyfriend’s favorite TV chair is right next to my work bench so I can get some nooky while I work without having to really get up. That’s good because getting up from my Studio Seating is kind of hard.
I’m really into efficient design. Sometimes, when I put all my jewelry supplies away, we use my glass top Japanese-style work bench as a sort of “coffee table”. I like to have my bench right in front of the couch, which is a handy back rest, since my Pottery Barn Studio Seating didn’t come with any. Japanese seating doesn’t have backrests and I wanted to be culturally authentic.

My Auxiliary Studio. Sometimes when I have multiple projects going on, or multiple designs laid out in my main studio on my glass top Japanese-style work bench, I will work in my compact Auxiliary Studio, that has a handy portable worktop. Actually, it came as a set of four folding work tops. I use one at a time. Sometimes I even eat off them. Tom does too even though that’s not what they’re really for. The beauty of this little portable studio is that it can be used in any room of the house. I like to use it in the kitchen since there’s no room in the living room because of my glass top Japanese-style work bench. I have paired my portable worktop with my favorite chair that I got at a second hand shop and painted glossy black. I just love the apple green Naugahyde upholstery.

My Plein Air studio. I love the inspiration of nature, and I will sometimes work outside with my portable work top when the weather is fine and when it’s not windy. I learned an important lesson about that though—you can’t really find a bead once you’ve dropped it in the lawn. So if I work on the lawn I spread out a drop cloth.

My Mobile Studio. I just love my new Toyota Mobile Studio—what a great idea. I never go anywhere without my tools because I never know when I am going to have an idea for a jewelry design and I will need to pull over and get started on it. This studio model is called “Yaris”.

There are lots of handy places to stow your tools within easy reach, and all kinds of nifty cubbies for all your stuff. I always take the Mobile Studio to my day job, because I like to go to the park on my lunch hour and work. It’s a great place to do wire and metal work. Bead work, not so much. I always keep a supply of finished items in the trunk too, in case any passers by show any interest in what I am doing and want to buy something. Sometimes I open up the trunk and put my portable work top right there next to the studio and do some work—it’s a marketing thing. The only thing I don’t like about it is the black interior gets very hot and things melt. My Birkenstocks melted last summer.

Candid shot of the artist in her Mobile Studio

Candid shot of the artist doing metal work

Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my creative life! This summer I will be working part time on my Floating Studio at Flathead Lake. There are some logistical issues with that though (I get seasick and the beads tend to roll around a lot) so my production might drop off a little. But I’ll be back. All tan.



  1. OMG tears from laughter over this post. Thanks for the giggle. you're the bomb.

  2. Effing hysterical. I gave you blog a shout-out and a sweet little award, so come to mine and see! You earned it with this post. I'd be interested to know what goes on inside your head all day...

  3. Yes, you are a lune... loved it! going to now "follow" you on FB...

  4. Keirsten - I've just stumbled upon this old post of yours and my sides are aching i'm laughing so much! I think you ought to reprise it for your new followers it is just so on the money. I'm also dead chuffed (pleased) to know that I use the same portable work top as such an esteemed artiste - mine though being of a paler hue.
    I am assuming you still have your glass topped japanese style work bench...I did find the hammer raised high above it a little disconcerting!
    Keep it ip girl!