Monday, March 17, 2008

Artist's Workspace

I dress dolls and make miniatures as well. I have a small built in desk in my hobby room. I have found over time any more surfaces soon become filled with things as I set them aside and don't put them away, so limiting my work space is a good idea. But what of all these tools we collect? One day I did a serious inventory and I also looked over my items and found some things I really used a lot, more things that I used sometimes, and others I do not use at all. I took the items I do not use at all and moved them out of site. The items I used sometimes, I figured out what the specific function was and decided to put them aside in a drawer. And finally, I took those items I use a lot and sorted them into categories. (The tools that are duplicates or I do not use, I trade or sell to someone who can use them) Those categories were; sew, cut, pinch, wood, write and wire. Sounds a bit weird, doesn't it? I purchased an Artbin (tm) Pastel. This wonderful case has 6 plastic boxes with a soft sided zippered casing and a sturdy carrying handle. Within the drawers I placed the items that fit the category. In the next few days we will go through the cases that I have sorted to give you ideas about your own tool organization and ways to manage all the fine things you have. Here is the case closed and opened for you to get an idea of what I have as well as a snapshot of my work space. The additional benefit of a set up like this is I can grab it on the go and take it to club and have everything I need for a quick project. (I cannot build with this box, but almost anything else I can complete.) As we share with you on Creative Doll you will learn more about Michelle and I. For example, you will find Michelle has the great ideas, bold color appreciation and many talents other than dolls and dollmaking. And me, well, you are going to learn that I am extreeeeemely organized and have a talent or two that might surprise you as well. Kathi


Unknown said...

I am enjoying reading about your tools and organization methods. Thank you!

michellemahler said...

Thna for your comments. This is Kathi's Workspace..I fear I woul dbe embarassed to sho mine! I am a bit messy and can work in a 12" square clear spot. Michelle

Gala said...

Dear Kathy and Michelle,
I love this page and the "Artist's Workspace" article is of particular interest since I am having a rather large hobby room built as part of a larger construction project. There will be counters for mini power tools (I build dollhouses as well)and oven, and spaces for sewing and storage plus the computer desk, of course! Could you please comment on possible layouts for these kind of rooms and the essentials? Your experience and opinions are most valuable.
Thank you.

michellemahler said...

Dear Gala,
Your plans sound so exciting to me. Michelle had done some office / workshop improvements some time ago, and I am in a continuous practice of organizing and reorganizing. One of the best workshop plans I ever saw was for a china painter's corner. Then recently in Traditional Home magazine there was an article about an artist's workshop that was so clean and white, I just tore out the pages, put them in my notebook and said, "I WANT THAT!."
I think it is a process. In the plans that I am working on now (for the next house, wherever that might be) I have first thought out what my hobbies really are. I am a doll's dress maker, but I am also a doll maker and to a lesser extent a miniaturist. So, I know I have "dirty work spaces" and "clean work spaces". I reorganized the space I have now when I realized I needed to focus on one aspect of my hobbies, the doll making. So, I actually sat down and outlined the steps I take, the space I needed and the tools required to do that specific job. Once you do that, you can decide what you need closest to you and how to organize / store your tools, what tools are lesser used and where to put them, and other aspects of your hobby. (This is good for job workspace, kitchens, garages, etc.) You now have an ideal chance to do think through everything including closets and storage. This is your best opportunity to add as much lighting as you need as well. How exciting for you to get the work room of your dreams. Kathi