Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Now Clean Workroom

Hi Everyone,

I haven't been doing any clay the last couple of days. Made a promise to myself that I would clean up my hobby room and have been working on and off with that as well as working on a different travel blog (blogging takes up so much time!).

I'm embarrassed to show this, but thought I should, so here's a photo of my room probably at its worst. This is bad, even for me, but generally I can work with something that's about 50% of this messy, and even more if all I'm doing is a small project. What inspires me to do a tidy purge is when I start getting frustrated because I can't find things.

As I've previously mentioned, I'm trying to figure out a new way to do a snowflake cane. I'm having a hard time with a couple of things and I thought I'd try seeing if the adage that an uncluttered space unclutters the mind. So, five or six hours later, here's what my space looks like.

So what you'll see is that the floor is clean and all working surfaces are tidy. The storage spaces are still a bit cluttered, but that's OK. What you don't see is that to the left of where the camera is pointing and along the wall that I'm standing against, is I've got three sets of shelves that store things. They're actually in pretty good shape and don't look too bad (at least for me).

And here's more of a close up of where I do the bulk of my work.

Some notes on my workroom:
  • Approximate dimensions are 12' x 12'.

  • The workbench is a Home Depot bathroom cabinet set that I think I paid <$100 for but spent several hours constructing. I've topped it off with a wooden core cheap door that I paid $15 for. I like how the door extends past the edges to provide storage areas underneath.

  • To the left of the workbench is my portable clay kits. They're generally empty and most of the tools are stored elsewhere.

  • I put the floor in myself. It's the industrial tile that you see in schools and other buildings. Cost was about $1.10/square foot. It was a pain to use the cement (very sticky and gets everywhere) but I was really happy with the floor afterwards. My advice when laying this type of floor is not to try to make all the square corners match each other. Instead, off-set each row (like a layer of bricks rather than bathroom tile) - much easier. I use a large paint spatula (you can see it on the left of the bench) to scrape up the bits of clay that fall to the floor. The nice thing about the floor is that the tiles are variegated and don't show the dirt very well at all.

  • My pasta machine is a Mona Kissel adapted 180 mm Atlas. I love it.

  • I store my unfinished Bottles of Hope on top of the toaster oven. I'm so very good at making the bottle portion and then not being able to figure out how to do a nice lid. The ones on top are ones that I didn't like the lid and decided to finish later (some of them have been sitting there for two years so at some time I'll have to decide what to do with them).

  • The bar stool is just the perfect height. I can sit on it, semi-sit on it, or lean against it to work with the clay.

  • The table in the middle of the floor is a two stage workshelf (i.e., you assemble one portion, then another, then put the two together) that I simply didn't mount on top of each other. Instead I put them side by side, tie-wrapped them together, and placed a layer of melamine on top of for the work surface. I can move the unit around the workroom if I want. I haven't figured out how to mount the melamine to the shelves, so it can be a bit rickety.

And that's it for this posting. I'll be doing other things next week but should be back to post in a few weeks.

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