Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Any Tips for Studio Organization/Efficiency?


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Earthwood

Earthwood

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • LocationHightstown, NJ

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

Hi All,

It's about time I think about seriously re-organizing my studio to help make it more efficient and fun to work in. I find I'm always hunting around for things or walking from one place to the next, or cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

My request to all of you, is if you could share a tip or something you've implemented in your studio that helped make you more efficient. For example... do you have a creative way of organizing the space around your wheel, storing tools, etc. (Pictures are most welcome!!) Or... how do you organize your sink area/keep that clean? I just have a large basin sink with no drain and am keeping a bucket underneath to collect clay scraps... but... it's a pain in the ass to clean! I feel like I am cleaning it more often than I care to. Any tips for recycling or disposing of clay? Do you have a creative way of storing your clay, glazes or tools? Do you use buckets or plastic bins or shelves, etc... Have you built something yourself that helps?? I'm especially interested in those who have very tiny studios and have had to come up with clever ways to maximize the usage of the space.

Any tips would be most appreciated... I'm looking for some inspiration/creative ideas.

Thanks!

Sam

#2 Diane Puckett

Diane Puckett

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 398 posts
  • LocationAsheville, NC

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:58 PM

I have a tiny 10 x16 studio with lots of windows, and I have not yet moved the kiln out of the studio, so I have to be very organized. The area with no windows is lined with wire shelving which allows ventilation and does not collect dust. A 12" deep shelf runs above the windows, giving me a lot more storage space which stays relatively clean. A small, rolling cart holds jars of glaze, underglazes, and terra sigs. An open wooden shelving unit sits next to my wheel and holds throwing tools, many of which are in a rotating kitchen tool holder. I have a long Formica counter where I can stand to work. At one end is a small slab roller with an extra piece of Formica sitting on top of it. I find it really helpful to have that higher workspace. When I use the slab roller, I put the piece of Formica on my wheel. It is stable on the splash pans and gives me more workspace for handbuilding. Under the counter and my wedging table are some inexpensive plastic units with drawers. They hold a lot, can be easily moved, and keep things clean. Each drawer is labeled. The best studio equipment I have is my stool. It has a padded seat, and it changes height with a lever. That is the only seat in the studio, but the height adjustment allows me to use it for the wheel or at my counter. I have a lot of things hanging - brushes from the tops of the window frames, some throwing tools from the window frame near my wheel, some other throwing tools on the wooden shelves. I really have things hanging all over the place. Large buckets of glaze are a storage issue, so a lot of those and my raku equipment are in the basement of my house.

Reorganization is a constant process, but I know where everything is. Anything I don't use goes. Keeping things clean helps a lot. I do not have plumbing in my studio, so winter means schlepping gallon bottles of water, but that's okay.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#3 JBaymore

JBaymore

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,796 posts
  • LocationWilton, NH USA

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:14 AM

Sam,

In addition to your research here.... maybe pick up a copy of Steven Branfman's "Potters Professional Handbook". Lots of good info in there.

best,

..............john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#4 clay lover

clay lover

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 812 posts
  • LocationSoutheast

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

My studio walls are covered in pegboard. I am always rearranging things as the jobs I do change, but there is a hook for everything. I drill holes in things to make them hangable whenever possible. Glaze buckets are on roller pallets under work tables. One stool with rollers and adjustable height. plywood slab over wheel when handbuilding, up against the wall out of the way otherwise. All tables have shelving built in under them,with large baskets filled with plastic, towling, wooden molds, ect. baskets under wedging table is strong shelf for clay storage.

#5 TJR

TJR

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,150 posts
  • LocationCanada

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

One thing I do, that sounds kind of simple, is I have more than one of each tool. I have three cut-off wires. I have about 10 fettling knives, 3 rubber ribs, etc. Then when you are throwing, you don't have to go back to the wedging table to get your one cut-off wire.
I also try to keep all of my tools clean, even though I don't have my water hooked up yet. Clean tools and wheel psychologically help you to get started. I always put my tools back in the same place when I'm done, and then I can find them. Could use more shelving, but I have only been in this space for one year.
TJR.

#6 Natania

Natania

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts
  • LocationMassachusetts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

One thing I do, that sounds kind of simple, is I have more than one of each tool. I have three cut-off wires. I have about 10 fettling knives, 3 rubber ribs, etc. Then when you are throwing, you don't have to go back to the wedging table to get your one cut-off wire.
I also try to keep all of my tools clean, even though I don't have my water hooked up yet. Clean tools and wheel psychologically help you to get started. I always put my tools back in the same place when I'm done, and then I can find them. Could use more shelving, but I have only been in this space for one year.
TJR.


I need to work on this too since my studio is only 10x12, although it is amazing what I can accomplish in there. The upside is that everything is within arm's reach. I have as much hanging on the walls as possible, even a wire basket for sponges.. I also keep a little "kit" of tools near each work station, so that I don't have to use a needle tool which is gloppy with clay from throwing for scoring leather hard cups and handles, etc.

#7 Wind n Wing

Wind n Wing

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 59 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:57 PM

Wheels on everything. I have put wheels (the locking type) on all my shelving, tables and under my 5 gallon scrap buckets ( plant pot holders on wheels for the buckets). The older I get the less I am able to lift so wheels are a great help. Plus if a table needs to serve double duty from one task to another I am able to re-arrange easily.
Another thing I like to use are strands of chain hung from the floor joists (basement studio) to hang tools or whatever. On my shelving I like to use 2x4"s to stack staggered, for my glaze and stain jars. Plastic baskets that stack are another space saver for me. Any type of rolling cart for storage works well for me. Space on the wall painted with blackboard paint by my kilns to keep track of what is going on. I stack boxes of clay on 2 2x4" boards to keep the clay off the floor. Since I dont have a plumbed sink drain I use a bucket under the drain and keep water usage to a minuim by using a small garden sprayer ( hand pump) to rinse off tools table tops and anything else that needs clean up. Would love to see some photos of how others arrange their workspace.

#8 Mossyrock

Mossyrock

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 152 posts
  • LocationHigh Point, NC

Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

I added a 4" thick foam 'top' to my Brent wheel (Image #1). I was always losing tools behind the splash pan. I cut out a hole for my water bucket and my needle tool and fettling knife are always easy to locate. Saves in clean up too.....I take the foam outside every few months and hose it down. The table beside my wheel has a magnetic strip on the side and a few hooks for items that won't stick to it. The table top was small so I attached a formica sink cutout for a nice large cleanable surface (the cabinet folks will generally give you the cutouts....they make great coddle boards too). The seat is an old rolling office chair with the back cut off. (These old office chair wheel bases make great single pedestal rolling trays too.....just add a pipe the height you want and attach a top.)

Image #2 is the handbuilding area, next to the slab roller. The table has a magnetic strip and I have a rolling drawer cart beside it that contains stamps, texture mats, rollers, etc. I put an old cutting board on the top (came off an old free-standing dishwasher) for a table top to put slip, ribs, and other tools. I have as much as possible on wheels.

Image #3 is my slab rolling and extruding area. I have a hospital-type single pedestal rolling tray that I attached another sink cutout to and have a magnetic strip attached to two sides. A small magnetic strip is on the side of the column by the extruder. Baskets under the slab roller are for larger texture mats, etc. I had a single electrical outlet on the column so I attached a 6-plug strip for a overhead positionable light, using a heat gun, etc.
Brenda Moore
Mossy Rock Creations
High Point, NC

#9 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,609 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:51 PM

I like shelves to the ceiling . Most folks do not use the high overhead spaces-I fill them with shelves and use a small heavy duty two step ladder to access.
Mark
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#10 JBaymore

JBaymore

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,796 posts
  • LocationWilton, NH USA

Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:20 AM

Most folks do not use the high overhead spaces-


Most Japanese workshops have beautiful bamboo "hanging" ware racks stuffed into just about every available overhead space. Many times also over kilns to facilitate final drying.

best,

...................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#11 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 1,894 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:12 AM

Hi All,

It's about time I think about seriously re-organizing my studio to help make it more efficient and fun to work in. I find I'm always hunting around for things or walking from one place to the next, or cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.

My request to all of you, is if you could share a tip or something you've implemented in your studio that helped make you more efficient. For example... do you have a creative way of organizing the space around your wheel, storing tools, etc. (Pictures are most welcome!!) Or... how do you organize your sink area/keep that clean? I just have a large basin sink with no drain and am keeping a bucket underneath to collect clay scraps... but... it's a pain in the ass to clean! I feel like I am cleaning it more often than I care to. Any tips for recycling or disposing of clay? Do you have a creative way of storing your clay, glazes or tools? Do you use buckets or plastic bins or shelves, etc... Have you built something yourself that helps?? I'm especially interested in those who have very tiny studios and have had to come up with clever ways to maximize the usage of the space.

Any tips would be most appreciated... I'm looking for some inspiration/creative ideas.

Thanks!

Sam


I too use multiples of the same tool. I have a bucket for trimming tools I always use, One for throwing tools at the wheel, a bucket for assembly tools, including hole punches and hack saw blades. I also keep a container for tools for adding handles etc. and one for frequently used glaze brushes and sgraffito tools. Doing this allows me to just grab the right bucket and go.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#12 Studio 491

Studio 491

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

The worst problem I had in my studio was water. Before I had a sink I used a hose outside to wash everything down or wash everything in a 5 gallon bucket. I now have a sink, but I need to be very careful about what goes down the drain. I put a 7-6" PVC pipe that matched the diameter of the drain. I had some silica caulk and spread this on one end of the pipe. I then inserted this into drain. This allows me to run clear water into the pipe (I put a wide funnel on top of the pipe so I could aim the faucet into it) but all my rinse water goes into the sink. At the end of each day, I siphon off the water from the sink into a bucket under the sink. The next morning I can sponge all the gunk from the sink and dispose or recycle. When the bucket under the sink is full, I allow it to sit for a couple of days and settle. I then siphon the clear layer of water down the drain.

Works great.

-Jane

#13 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,458 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:31 PM

Mossyrock, that is a nice looking, clean, organized studio.

The foam top on the wheel is an interesting idea. I've personally never had a problem, with losing any tools on the wheel. But I did almost lose a ring, that my wife gave me, in a chunk of clay.....No, it wasn't my wedding ring. The clay just barely touched the ring, and it stuck right to it, and then got pressed in. It took me forever to find it.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#14 Pres

Pres

    Retired Art Teacher

  • Moderators
  • 1,894 posts
  • LocationCentral, PA

Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

Mossyrock, that is a nice looking, clean, organized studio.

The foam top on the wheel is an interesting idea. I've personally never had a problem, with losing any tools on the wheel. But I did almost lose a ring, that my wife gave me, in a chunk of clay.....No, it wasn't my wedding ring. The clay just barely touched the ring, and it stuck right to it, and then got pressed in. It took me forever to find it.


Had that happen to one of my students with their ENGAGEMENT RING! What a fuss she made, that someone stole it! We never found it during that year. Two years later I was pugging clay in the Walker, and there was a grinding sound-found the ring without the diamond. Ring was mangled to pieces. Somewhere there is a pot with a diamond in it! Yes-it is a true story!

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#15 Benzine

Benzine

    Socratic Potter

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,458 posts
  • LocationThe Hawkeye State

Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:24 PM


Mossyrock, that is a nice looking, clean, organized studio.

The foam top on the wheel is an interesting idea. I've personally never had a problem, with losing any tools on the wheel. But I did almost lose a ring, that my wife gave me, in a chunk of clay.....No, it wasn't my wedding ring. The clay just barely touched the ring, and it stuck right to it, and then got pressed in. It took me forever to find it.


Had that happen to one of my students with their ENGAGEMENT RING! What a fuss she made, that someone stole it! We never found it during that year. Two years later I was pugging clay in the Walker, and there was a grinding sound-found the ring without the diamond. Ring was mangled to pieces. Somewhere there is a pot with a diamond in it! Yes-it is a true story!


My incident happened, during student teaching. I trusted all the students, but couldn't help but wonder, if someone picked it up. So I went back to check the lumps of clay, I had sitting around the wheel, after checking them a couple times, and found it. One of the students said, "Wouldn't it have been funny, if you would have fired something, with that in it." My answer, was "Nope."
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#16 SmartsyArtsy

SmartsyArtsy

    Chris Seminara

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 159 posts
  • LocationPNW

Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

Hi, one of the projects I am happy about is the old medicine cabinet I converted for mason stains and underglazes. I took off the door/mirror and attached it to uprights on the back of my glazing surface (the top of a cabinet from a recycled goods store where I store glaze materials and small glaze containers). It's out of the way and very handy. Eventually, I added a shelf below it where I put my current glaze tests

Posted Image


#17 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,609 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:44 PM


Mossyrock, that is a nice looking, clean, organized studio.

The foam top on the wheel is an interesting idea. I've personally never had a problem, with losing any tools on the wheel. But I did almost lose a ring, that my wife gave me, in a chunk of clay.....No, it wasn't my wedding ring. The clay just barely touched the ring, and it stuck right to it, and then got pressed in. It took me forever to find it.


Had that happen to one of my students with their ENGAGEMENT RING! What a fuss she made, that someone stole it! We never found it during that year. Two years later I was pugging clay in the Walker, and there was a grinding sound-found the ring without the diamond. Ring was mangled to pieces. Somewhere there is a pot with a diamond in it! Yes-it is a true story!


A true diamond in the rough story-sweet.
Mark

Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#18 Earthwood

Earthwood

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • LocationHightstown, NJ

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Thank you everyone for all the great ideas and images! The gears in my head are turning... Posted Image

#19 Earthwood

Earthwood

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 28 posts
  • LocationHightstown, NJ

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

The worst problem I had in my studio was water. Before I had a sink I used a hose outside to wash everything down or wash everything in a 5 gallon bucket. I now have a sink, but I need to be very careful about what goes down the drain. I put a 7-6" PVC pipe that matched the diameter of the drain. I had some silica caulk and spread this on one end of the pipe. I then inserted this into drain. This allows me to run clear water into the pipe (I put a wide funnel on top of the pipe so I could aim the faucet into it) but all my rinse water goes into the sink. At the end of each day, I siphon off the water from the sink into a bucket under the sink. The next morning I can sponge all the gunk from the sink and dispose or recycle. When the bucket under the sink is full, I allow it to sit for a couple of days and settle. I then siphon the clear layer of water down the drain.

Works great.

-Jane




Jane,

This is similar to what I am doing now. I am using buckets to collect the clay sludge. Any tips on efficiently cleaning those buckets once they are full? How do you dispose of your clay? It's kind of insane, but I slop out all the mud into a trash bag filled with crumpled newspaper to sort of soak up the clay and bulk it out so it's not so heavy when I take it out to the trash. I do this multiple times until the bucket is empty, and then I rinse and wipe the bucket and dump the rest outside. It's a pain in the butt! Plus it smells really bad, too.

~ Sam




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users