Inside The Studio with Claire Lockwood of Something to do with your hands

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

Congratulations Kathy Lindemar!
You have won $25 to spend in Erin’s shop!
Contact Erin to claim your prize!

Sometimes I find that, when my Inside the Studio post comes around, I risk going over the same things: I’ve been making beads; I’ve been making jewellery. And, since my last post, I’ve done plenty of both. But, I actually have other things to report on!  For a long time now, I’ve wanted to get to grips with metalwork. Ages ago, when I first got into making jewellery, I bought a load of kit for silver-smithing, but for various reasons, I’ve never set to and used it all.  I bought books and read things on line, but I find taking in instructions from reading things quite difficult. Finally, during the summer, I got my act together and booked a place on a silversmithing course.  It’s not that I really wanted to start making silver jewellery. I’m planning to use other, more affordable metals, in the main, I think. I just needed opportunity to get comfortable with the various tools and processes. However, I have got a little seduced with working with sterling.

This crop of earrings – all kinda minimal (and not without some flaws!) – have all been made during the six weeks of the course. The term finished this week but I’ll be booking on to go back in the new year.  I am now far happier with the logistics of soldering, and I really want to do it some more, preferably sooner than next year! One of the things that has held me back from trying soldering, etc., at home is the lack of space. I’ve moaned about this here before, numerous times, in relation to one thing or another. Speaking to Christina, the jeweller running the course, I’ve come to see that the table area I was planning to use wouldn’t necessarily be the safest place. Then, about a fortnight ago, I had a brainwave. In the corner of my flat there is what I – and certain close friends – would describe as ‘a naughty hole’. To flesh the term out, I guess I’d describe a ‘naughty hole’ as any cupboard or hidden space where undesirable junk and clutter or ‘just stuff’ is stored/dumped, usually in a careless, haphazard manner. You open the naughty hole door, you take the thing you’re struggling to house, you sling it in the naughty hole, you shut the door, you forget about it.

Now, my naughty hole isn’t just a cupboard. It’s a walk-in naughty hole. Can you guess what my brainwave might have been? I really can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner!!  If I clear out the naughty hole I can set up a jeweller’s bench in there!! And possibly have space for other things! Like good, orderly storage! And places to keep all of the many, many things!  But… oh… oh no, that means…. I have to clear out the naughty hole!

That will be quite a tall order. Towards the back of the hole there is stuff that I stacked up in there when I moved in. Heaven knows what half of it is. Dozens of VHS tapes that I can’t play, that no charity shop will take, that can’t be recycled easily…. but that belonged to my grandma?  Mountains of bank statements and suchlike that need shredding before disposal. About 8-10 years worth of the Times Literary Supplement and The London Review of Books. If I chuck them out, am I abandoning academia forever? Oh, naughty hole!!

BTW, am I the only person preserving one of these?

Because: design classic? Thought so…

The mouth of the hole poses another problem. At some point, I did attempt to set up some sort of storage nearer the door; there are some old shoe racks on which I had piled my unused metal tools, my polymer stuff, and various other supplies and kit. This started in an orderly fashion but has since descended into chaos. I messed it up even more the other week, trying to find my neglected metal tools under the other stuff. Now it looks like some kind of craft-based dirty bomb went off in there.

Just writing about the task in hand is making my head spin. I’m telling myself that, now we have this lovely expanded ABS team, and now I only write an Inside the Studio post every other month, I might have it sorted by the next time I join you. I so hope I can do it. Wish me luck!

Anyway, it’s giveaway time. The question: Would the prospect of a new workspace be reward enough to encourage you to clear out a similarly horrendous mess? Perhaps you have your own neglected naughty hole for which you have plans? Let us know! (Also, if you’re interested in an extensive collection of 1970s – 1990s, BBC nature and comedy programmes, all preserved on VHS, just say the word!)

The prize is a…

Bye for Now, Claire


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22 Comment

  1. beadrecipes
    November 6, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Ha, my husband would say the whole house is a bit of a naughty hole! We have a studio apartment (or what we call a bungalow here down under) that is variously our spare room for when the inlaws come to visit, the library and the depository or all sorts of crap — all the stuff I don't like to store in the shed. Not many beads at the moment but I am contemplating how best to set up a metalwork (and enamel!!) workstation. In the meantime, I am also trying to set up my beads and stuff in a more efficient way inside the house, where I do most of my beading. Sigh. I understand your pain!

  2. Mokki
    November 6, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Yes! Get clearing girl, it'll be well worth it! I live in a tiny flat so I know storage can be a big problem especially for us creative types who tend to hoard all the nice things. Just think of that awesome work space and chuck it! πŸ™‚

  3. Trudi
    November 6, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Love the work you've shared from your six weeks of learning and well done for taking the plunge in doing a silversmithing course. An inspiring post for those of us who are studious readers, progressing slowly.

    At the prospect of having my very first workspace? I'm currently sorting through a chaotic naughty corner or two.. okay, maybe three, in our old office. A small room at the front of our home that has recycled wooden floors and receives lovely afternoon light from a west facing window that captures the view of a beautiful landscape. So yes, I would and am facing such a daunting task to have a space to create.. and all I can add is go for it Claire!

  4. Kathy Lindemer
    November 6, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I also have a walk in closet that would be a perfect studio, however, I can't seem to part with my adult children's stuffed animals and toys. I also have my beloved collection of excess clothes and shoes. I have been chipping away at it, but progress is slow.

  5. Sarah
    November 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Oh most definitely I think I would be inspired to clean out a messy area with the prospect of a useable, organized space as a reward. But it is a daunting chore, and somehow, the space always seems to get cluttered again, doesn't it? It's a circle of clean, create, clutter. But I think you'd be much happier getting rid of stuff you're not using and knowing that space will soon be put to productive, creative use. Good luck! Sarah

  6. Sarajo Wentling
    November 6, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Oh it will so be worth it!! Eventually I want to turn our office into a studio space for metalwork and all the messier things I play with, but I have some hurdles to leap first. For now, I've got to just find some time to clean up and organize my supplies in the area I use now… it's WAY out of control!

    Love what you've been doing in class! Taking such a course is on my wish list!

  7. Julie Wong Sontag
    November 6, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Oh god – our entire place is a naughty hole. The struggle is real. I'm LOVING the new direction you are taking with the silversmithing. Of course you would be genius at anything you lay hands on.

    I've been enjoying my silversmithing class as well – it's so good to stretch your wings and fly over a new landscape sometimes. Though I must say you've been far more productive. I've been working on the same pair of earrings for… oh…. 15 hours now? πŸ˜‰ Anyway – can't wait to see where this will take you. I've got my eye on a little space in our house too, was just offered a 20 year old jeweler's bench yesterday – for free – and I can't wait to have it here. xoxoxo — julie

  8. Anvil Artifacts
    November 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    "Would the prospect of a new workspace be reward enough to encourage you to clear out a similarly horrendous mess?" Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahaha. Wishing you a speedy task getting your new spot set up. Looks like it will be wonderful when you have it all done. Enjoy!

  9. Heather Wynn Millican
    November 6, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    How cool!! I simply love the silver pieces that you created in the course!! Isn't soldering just magical?
    I'm so excited for you and your new space! Thank you kindly for the giggles! (craft-based dirty bomb) love it.
    Do you work with an acetylene torch? I must work in the garage with ample ventilation because my tanks emit icky black soot that gets EVERYWHERE!!! You are quite the lucky girl to be able to metalsmith indoors. I am very jealous πŸ™‚
    Good luck to clearing out the naughty hole and I look forward to seeing more of your lovely silver work.

  10. Heidi Post
    November 7, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Do it. I have moved several times in the last two decades, and while it 100% sucks to make all those decisions about every little thing, the end result of de-hoarding is the most wonderful feeling of freedom and lightness. And then you are treated with the reward of a wonderful new workspace to fill up and organize!

    My naughty hole surely has some stuff ripe for chucking, but I'll have to move again before I deal with it. The VHS and cassette tapes I will never use again… My high school art… The fancy dishes of my grandmother's that I will never get rid of, nor will I ever take them out of their boxes…

  11. Denise McCabe
    November 7, 2015 at 3:08 am

    First, your earrings are lovely – especially the ones with the leaves. So refreshingly minimalist but with color!
    I love the term 'Naughty Hole'. Would having a new workspace help me clean up my naughty hole? Absolutely! Unfortunately, our naughty hole is filled with stuff from my family of 5 – so I can't be the only one to decide what stays and what goes.

  12. Susanm
    November 7, 2015 at 8:46 am

    My 100+ years old house has a small low-ceiling basement, where I've managed to carve out a space for beads and other craft – I call it my craft cave. Setting it up required clearing out books and magazine (including my collection of old Gourmet magazines) and other bits and bobs we didn't want to store in the shed. It's a work in progress, but the worth the effort to have my own space. The shed is a huge building with an upper-level that would make a great work space, but would require significant amounts of time and money to make it habitable and squirrel-free. Good luck cleaning out your naughty hole. Love your silver jewelry.

  13. toomanypastimes
    November 7, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    We moved this summer. Cleaning out our naughty holes was a TASK!! I'm trying to continue getting rid of things so the next time it won't be such a nightmare.

    November 7, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I'm actually in the process of clearing a small storage room which has a window, and has a new electrical circuit just installed for me by my partner. With ventilation and light covered, there's no excuse anymore not to have it nice and clean for the New Year!
    I'm really excited because this will be my very first "work space" at home, a little room just for myself.
    Thank you for the giveaway, I love your work AND surprises πŸ™‚

    Despina Veneti
    [email protected]

  15. Elizabeth
    November 7, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    You made me giggle. Would the prospect of a reward for clearing a space be enough for me to actually do it? MAYBE…depends on the benefit I suppose. My studio is currently unusable because life interrupted my plans… I'll start if you start. LOL.


  16. gloria allen
    November 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I actually took my dinning room for my workspace. Problem is I am such a hoader, I mean purchaser, stater of new projects, left unfinished, which leaves no space and I now cannot find anything. Need to place purchases and projects into storage of which Im sure I have enough of, Thanks for sharing your space, Im not alone.

  17. Deb Fortin
    November 8, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    first of all I must tell you I love your silver work. so simple, so minimalist, so lovely.
    I had to laugh at your "naughty hole" description. I have one ,well two, ok ok three of those and they are all in my basement studio. Not only do I make jewellery I also do paper crafts . Torches and open flames DO NOT go well with paper. My naughty space is my jewellery making area so I am using my paper crafting area to make my jewellery in.
    Will the prospect of a lovely clean working space make me clean it up? I think I am past the point of no return. I spend more time cleaning than creating and yet it never seems to get finished. Time for an intervention. lol Maybe the CLEAN SWEEP crew could help .

  18. Deb
    November 9, 2015 at 12:51 am

    You definitely need to clean the space out! Keep imagining the beautiful pieces you'll create in there and if the task seems overwhelming tackle it in chunks. You'll certainly feel lighter and your creativity will soar. Good luck! Love your earrings.

  19. Karen M
    November 9, 2015 at 1:43 am

    I think your earrings are a fantastic start. I can't wait to see what else you make. I encourage you to declutter and get to creating!! We just gave a bunch of VHS (antiques) away. Good luck.

  20. Kristen
    November 9, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I laughed when I read your blog post because I am nearing the end of a huge house clean out! Every closet and drawer has been gone through but the biggest mess was our attic. It's huge and was packed with stuff (including boxes of videotapes!) mainly from our three grown children. Our garage is now filled junk waiting for the dumpster to come this week and all of the real treasures are repacked away in neat plastic bins. It feels so good to let it all go and my family and I have had some nice moments remembering happy times. Good luck, it can be done!

  21. Mary Harding
    November 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Your new silver work is so unique and wonderful!! And you are just beginning on that adventure…Wow!! Me too, I love the term naughty hole!! We don't have such an expression here but now I do!! Wonderful post Claire!!

  22. Rebecca
    November 17, 2015 at 5:53 am

    Oh Claire, you're so talented with everything you do! Look at your silver work – just stunning. What on earth did I do on my ten week course?! You're so much more productive that I was!

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