[Editor’s note: I spent a rainy afternoon in my studio last weekend….staring at the ceiling. While I should have been thrilled that I could actually find space on my now partially cleared and totally painted studio floor…I wasn’t. I lay there among my stuff and mess. Defeated. Ready to give up. I pondered the wisdom of tearing apart my “epicenter” my “she-cave”. Am I ever going to finish this clean out and re-org? My hand fell on an old issue of Metal Clay Artist… I opened it on an article by Melody Pierson. I procrastinated cleaning a bit more by taking the time to read and savor her article. I thought some of you who are also in “mid-re-org” in your studios and that maybe a dose of humour might help! Enjoy!]
I wrote to Melody to tell her I’d like to reprint her article. I was thrilled to hear she was working on her studio as a part of the “60 Day Studio Challenge” started on this site. She even checked out the book I was reading. This is not the response I was expecting…but I’m also not surprised to hear this from Melody! “So I picked up the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Now, here’s a lady who started organizing everything by the age of five. I don’t have to tell you that she has a process for keeping everything single thing organized in her apartment. Interesting read, learned lots of tricks… But I warn you now, DO NOT LISTEN to this book “on tape” as I did, while you are working in your less than, very less than, tidy studio. This is what I have been doing and any time now, I am going to need an prescription for Xanax. If my lack of being able to put things back, find what I just put away 10 minutes ago or double order a tool, stamp, book, gem within a period of 48 hours, gives you any inclination about how difficult it is for me to keep on top of things, now you know. Listen, it’s a good book. She has some very helpful hints. As a matter of fact, I’d invite her over anytime and let her help me get my world into shape!”
I just went out to buy some magnetic closures for a leather necklace I have been working on. Had I put my thinking-wig on I might have brought a piece of the leather with me so I would know exactly what size to buy. Dare I say this is symptomatic of some of the time saving things I could do if I was not so darn excited about everything I want to buy or everything I want to make or do?
Why is it when my children were infants, toddlers, kids, I was able to organize everything for them? Years later, when it’s my turn to organize my toys, I just fail miserably. My tools have tools. My drawers have drawers. My tables have tables, It just doesn’t end…It’s like my studio is one LARGE Russian nesting doll, except that I have nesting dolls in every corner of the studio, which is not big. I have quaint little wooden racks of bottles and plastic-pocketed catch-all’s one uses for jewelry, which I keep anything in.
When I moved in, I was sure I would keep it organized. Alas, there was a problem right at the outset. And totally not my fault. I didn’t have one of those gun label makers. I am sure if I had one of those, my studio would be perfectly in order. Then again, I might have lost that label maker. Better yet, I could have bought several label makers for every category of findings. Yes, maybe, color-coded label makers.
Let me ask you a question. I have these wonderful see-through tool-boxes with movable sections inside. Let’s JUST SAY, my aim was true and I put eyelets and jump-rings (every size and colour), straight pins, crimp beads, metal beads, decorative beads, tweezers, files, rivets, ear-wires (different metals), wires, (gauges and types) ad infinitum and you know I am only mentioning a FRACTION of the stuff we have….How WOULD I EVEN FIND THIS ALL…stick them on the wall with the front aiming at my face?
I’m also short. Five feet. Period. Should I even organize my stuff from floor to ceiling, I would need a ladder.
Of course, I have forgotten a few key other supplies. CLAY. Metal Clay, Polymer Clay… and all the tools that go with those things. Rollers, cutters, slip, distilled water, stamps, plastic templates, already-mixed clay, bottles/containers of powdered clay or pre-made clay in packages. Do we talk about the kiln stuff? When I first heard I would need KILN FURNITURE, I thought, “OH GREAT, I have to buy a special table and possibly a chair…” Alas, they were only little building blocks to prop up the STAINLESS STEEL BOWLS or square containers or ceramic containers…and the mesh, oh the mesh, and fibre-blanket…and the carbon. The Magic Carbon, the coconut carbon…
Ah, how could I forget my precious Cameo Cutter…I have had this marvellous machine for 4 years now? I have read the articles, watch the videos. I’ve been less scared of getting a root canal than putting clay in the machine. Seriously. I have but in the ScratchFoam…works lovely. But CLAY? And even with that minimal use, I have ordered several blades and pens and an extra cutting sheet or three. (Melody, USE THE CLAY!)
I also have planned on making some cuffs in metal clay or in any kind of metal…so I looked up what I may need. And yes, there was cuff mandrel, a thing to measure cuffs, a hammer or two…(we of course know all about the RING MANDRELS and the RING SIZER of which I have many types because the newest one WORKS BETTER, right?
Then the sandpaper. The sheets, the sticks, the grits, the mandrels for the Dremmels…all the finishing supplies…MOMMY I AM SO TIRED!!!
Folks, I need a small warehouse. And yet I feel strangely comfortable surrounded by ALL OF MY STUFF. I feel that at any moment, inspiration will strike and I will have EVERYTHING I NEED to make that NEW SAUL BELL AWARD WINNING PIECE…well, ALMOST everything I need. Have YOU SEEN that new book on WIRE-WEAVING by LISA LYNN BARTH????
Melody Pierson is a Jewelry Designer at Modern Archaeology Jewelry
and she is the Canadian Distributor of Goldie Clay Canada