Studio Saturday-Creative Mess

Welcome to Studio Saturday! 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 free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. This week’s winner is Rachel @ REvangeline Designs! Congratulations! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box to receive Holiday Beads from Jennifer at Jangles.

Welcome to my mess! I believe most creative people work with their supplies in piles laying around them as they work. Come on, admit it.
“My name is Tari and I am a creative slob.” All chime in “Welcome Tari.”
It’s not like this suddenly happened. It’s been this way most of my life.
I have buttons stacked everywhere in my studio! Cases of finished buttons are stacked in the garage. Buttons are everywere!
I know where most everything is…kinda.
This is what my counter looks like most days. I sit here daily and work amongst bottles of glazes, tools, paint brushes and molds.
My computer is behind me so I can check email and play some tunes while I work.
These are stacks of molds I make for my designs.
I make a prototype of each design, then make a plaster mold.
This helps with consistency of the design and size.
People can be so picky and want the same design to be the same size
when they are calculating button holes
(yes, I am full of “smart sass” comments)!
I am a fan of Duncan glazes. I have every color of their underglazes and many of their other types of glazes, Envision, Courtyard, Gloss and Satin. I should be spokesperson!
It may be going through your head,
“egads, why would she have so many!” Consistency!
Yep, you heard that word earlier. Mixing glazes would be fine if you were not after that same color over and over. But if you are selling a product, your customers kinda want it to look like the picture. Also, you don’t get the true color of the glaze till its been fired.
FYI-It is fired, not baked! You bake cookies not earth clay.
Pet peeve #999.

Question this week is not really a question.
Tell me about your studio or working space.

I love to see other peoples studios and hear how they work.
Leave a comment and you could win….mmm….mmm…some buttons. Not sure which ones, let me dig through the mess and find some.

Tari Sasser, smart sass at Creative Impressions In Clay

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42 Comment

  1. abeadlady
    November 22, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    My beads are scattered all over my apartment most of the time. I’m in process of reorganizing them. I’m primarily a bead embroiderer and beadweaver. I love using buttons and other found objects in my work. It gives it individuality. I also live within a few miles of the home of Duncan Ceramics. They do make a fine product.

  2. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    You’re my contact if Duncan has a warehouse sale! More people should use buttons in their work πŸ™‚
    Thanks for sharing Arline!

  3. Maria
    November 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Tari!
    Well, I can never seem to keep my space clean. I get it cleaned and a couple days later it looks like a bomb went off again (I’m not kidding!)
    Around the holidays it seems to be the worse, as I’ve got something going on in every corner. It’s something on my new year’s resolution list…
    #1-Keep Studio some what clean and organized.

    P.S. I too love Duncan! I live about an hour from Fresno and I love to pop in and see the fun things they have!

  4. EmandaJ
    November 22, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Tari,

    I’m a creative slob/clutterer too. Everywhere I look there’s a pile of stuff — and most of the time I know exactly what’s in what stack. Most of the time.

    I’m in a panic right now because I have a studio on campus where I teach, but the building is going to be torn down over the holidays. That means I have to clear a place in my home-clutter for my school-clutter in the next two week, Yikes!

    What’s a gal to do??

    I think I need to hire the Jettison Brothers (from Prarie Home comapion, circa 1980s) to help me toss my junk. “What is it for?” Garrison Keillor’s mythical house-cleaners the Jettison Brothers ask, “When did you last use it?” If you can’t answer either question – Out it goes.

    Does anyone have their number?

  5. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Maria, I tried to keep my studio clean, really I did. A twelve step program would be needed to achieve that! I have a path from the door to the counter. You can stop at the computer on the way.
    Holidays reek havoc in my studio also. But then so does my 10 year old who decides my studio is the place to make things and then walk away from the mess. This must be an inherited character flaw πŸ™‚ Her 27 year old sister used to do the same!

  6. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    (((Emanda))) A big hug is needed for that venture. I dread the day we would ever move and I would have to clean my studio! It would be a horrendous undertaking.
    May the force be with you!!

  7. Kiwiken
    November 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I can’t call it a studio, and even calling it a work space seems a little exaggerated – but it’s a mess for sure. And for once, it’s not my fault. I’m currently living in a studio apartment (I’m not sure of that word?), anyway, it’s just one room, so my “working space” is somewhere between the bed, closet, computer table and bookshelf – everywhere in between, really. If someone comes over for a surprise visit, I have to get the beads from the table and put them… some other place. So, really, I’m looking forward to moving out soon and getting at least a chance to organize things properly. Though, knowing myself, they probably won’t stay organized for long…

  8. Imaginina
    November 22, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    I use my basement as my studio. I have painted it and decorated it in bright colors, and named it Girl World. I made two giant tables where I can spread things out. I have a wall of cabinets to stash things in. Next to the studio area is my lampworking bench. And next to that is a seating area with TV. Seats in the Girl World seating area are porch swings.

    My studio gets cluttered faster than is possible. I try to invite friends over to hang in Girl World every couple months so that I have a reason to clean it up. Some times that actually works!


  9. Anonymous
    November 22, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Tari,

    My working space is currently just a large desk and a couple sets of drawers. This is actually the most space I’ve ever had, and I vowed to keep it neat enough to work on…but that didn’t happen. Every inch is covered in beads and findings because seeing what I have inspires me to design.

    Hannah B

  10. Fab Fibers
    November 22, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    My space is all over the house.
    Usually its at the dining room table. I do have a room for my stuff, but I don’t like being alone. Its easy enough to move around….

  11. Gail W.
    November 22, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    My working place is the kithen table,it was a round table,until I got the saw out and cut a side off,leaving it flush with the wall.Then I've added some shelves,and lots off those roll around carts with 12-16 drawers.I have stacks of books and magazines everywhere.It looks kinda organized,but I've been hunting for a Humblebead bird for 2 weeks now.I'm having family over for Thanksgiving,guess I'll pull out the card table & put pillows on the floor.After all.they are family,they know me.Have a Happy Thanksgiving,I'm gonna go hunt for humblebird.And,Tari,when you get time,will you hunt for my house&any furnishings to me.Remember,I was the lucky winner afew weeks ago!And,hey,I know you're busy.Have a great week,Gail

  12. EmandaJ
    November 22, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Hello Clever Gals,
    I am probably committing some kind of Blog offense here, but you’ve been tagged for the 6 Random Things Game.

    Here are the rules:

    Link to the person or persons who tagged you. (I’m Emandaj at http://www.artemsiastudio.blogspot.com)
    Post the rules on your blog.
    Write six random things about yourself.
    Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
    Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
    Let the tagger know when your entry is up.


  13. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Kiwiken-Your entire space is a studio! Studio apartment! That would be my excuse and stick with it. Good luck on a new place in the near future!

  14. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Imaginina-I like Girl World! My girl world used to be the basement too until I got remarried and didn’t have enough bedrooms. We had to add on, My studio looks like the third garage. The front third is storage and I keep lobbying to take over that space. I clean up my studio when I just can’t take it anymore and really can’t find something.

  15. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Hannah B-Sometimes a desk is all you need! If it works for you, that’s all that matters. I think you are right at having everything spread out for inspiration. It helps a lot when you are beading. Let your creativity go!!

  16. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Rosanne, you are FabFiberlous! I have a traveling bag also. No sense wasting time at home or at the doctors office. I only use the dining room table when I absolutely have to…like prepping for a show. Then I employ child labor πŸ™‚

  17. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Gail-Don’t you just love power tools! Too funny you cut the table. They’re family, they can sleep on the floor!
    My apologies Gail, I will get your house button sent out this week. Last weekend I coached soccer in the rain, snow and cold. My team became Ohio State Soccer Champions!! We won the whole shebang! Woo Hoo!!
    I’ve been a tad busy. I promise I will mail it.

  18. Meekiyu
    November 22, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Goodness that’s a lot of stuff and I like how you seem to have everything organized so neatly! Wonderful buttons! They’re so unique the designs and colors!

  19. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Meekiyu-Thank you for your wonderful comments. Organized…looks are deceiving.

  20. Gail W.
    November 22, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    I do! Power tools make me feel strong.I used the sawsaws for the bushes around the house,I go in Lowes& tell them what I want,I end up getting it.There's just something about them,you know?Happy turkey day,again!

  21. Shoozles
    November 22, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I love seeing your stacks of molds and glazes!

    I have my studio set up in stations. I have 4 kilns in a station, a grinding station, a place where I cut glass and create stuff for the kiln, then I have a wire wrapping and beading station. I work messy and seem to create better that way. I always plan to do a studio video walk through to show people but I never get motivated to clean it to show LOL. I Love looking at other artist work areas.

  22. Tari of claybuttons
    November 22, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Shoozles-You have a great setup. I have good intentions to clean. But, well I’m a slob.
    I’m going with Erma Bombeck on this one, “I won’t be lying on my death bed wishing I had cleaned more!”

  23. Joy
    November 23, 2008 at 8:00 am

    It’s a constant struggle to keep my space tidy since it’s so tiny. It is not only my beading space, but it’s my altered art space, painting space, collage space…and what ever other kind of creative endeavor I try. But, it’s all mine, and I love it. Pictures in the link. πŸ™‚


  24. Gaela
    November 23, 2008 at 10:57 am

    OK, I’m a creative slob as well. About 2 months ago I was so very close to having things in some sort of method-to-my-madness order. And then, my inspiration began to flow… everywhere. Now, it’s all everywhere ~ Beadsbuttonsfabrickiln clayglazeglassyarngemstonesseedbeads lampworkbeadsartbeadsibuyfromothers loombeadboardscontainerssewingmachines etcetcetc. I guess my studio just moves around the house where ever I go. And this is not the time of year to organize, got to get those orders out.

  25. Tari of claybuttons
    November 23, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Joy-I think that is pretty organized for the different types of art you do. I guess as I get older it doesn’t matter as much to me. It’s my space, don’t ask to see it! I just had people ask to see it last weekend. They didn’t care in the least and expected it to be a mess. Artists have a reputation to keep up!

  26. Tari of claybuttons
    November 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Gaela-Take your inspiration where you can get it! Deal with the mess when you get the opportunity. I have put everything in a box or laundry basket before and put a table cloth or fabric over top. The guests could sit at the table and they never knew the disaster that used to be there. I still do that with the mail when I don’t have time and need a quick fix.

  27. JenniferJangles
    November 23, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    It so fun to see your mess, um, I mean creative work space. It looks similar to mine but I don’t have as many things made up and ready to glaze. Wish I did, but it just doesn’t get done. Thanks for sharing, I love to see where people work.

  28. Tari of claybuttons
    November 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Jennifer-I love your new studio! Wish I have more time to make mine as colorful as yours. Most days, time is not on my side. Kids make getting work done extremely hard. They think because you work at home your time is at their disposal. Kali, my 10yr old, came home Thursday and said she had a concert that night. Of course, I said “how come you didn’t tell me before now.” I got “I’ve been telling you all week but you ignored me.” Whoops, it was true. I tune them out. She rambles.

  29. x vInTaGe VioLeT x
    November 23, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    i really wish i could have a clean work area but it looks like a mini bomb has gone off 90% of the time – luuckilly i have a seperate work-room as my partner is a tidy person!
    i clean up – put everything in it’s place then think “ooohhhh where is that purple button i’ve been saving for a special piece oh and the ric-rac . . . . . half-an-hour later and it’s back to bomb-site . . . sigh.
    i spend half my creating time looking for something i just put down…..

  30. AJ
    November 23, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I seem to spread throughout the house. My bedroom has storage drawers but mostly I work in the family room, supervising homework, etc. Yesterday, my MIL asked to borrow our card table for Thanksgiving. Hubby and I were searching all over and trying to think where we had stored it away. Then I walked into the family room and there it sits, covered with my beadwork! I think tomorrow I will bring another folding table in so I can move everything over! πŸ™‚ (well, you didn’t expect me to say I was going to put it away, did you?)

  31. Tari of claybuttons
    November 23, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    x vInTaGe VioLeT x-If your work spaces are seperate, keep it messy. It’s easier to find things!
    I think we all need to make those folding screens to hide our wonderful creative messes. We could decorate them with all of our left over supplies!

  32. Tari of claybuttons
    November 23, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    AJ-I have done the same. You can’t find it because you’re using it!
    Go to Sam’s and buy a 4ft table (legs adjust to different heights) you can use for shows and write it off as a business expense. I think I have 4 of those tables! My husband trashed the 6ft table using it when he doing woodworking. The smaller ones are easier to transport.

  33. Paula
    November 24, 2008 at 3:04 am


    It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one surrounded by stuff. At present I have 3/4’s of a room that used to be our living room, and I have at least a dozen projects sitting on top of each other on my worktable and my shelves.
    Being as we have no other spare rooms my husband was kind enough to give this larger one to me. But it’s too small to have any friends or students over.
    Unfortunately he’s a neat freak and no matter how organized I am he’s screaming about my mess. So in order to keep him from going crazy we recently came to the decision to take about half of our detached garage and set me up so I have a real workspace and most everything will be out of the house. Work will start soon.
    This week my friend told me I have to start calling it “The Studio” not the garage. I thought that was hilarious because I always felt that anywhere you work is your studio whether it be a kitchen table, porch or a whole room. So I told him he can’t come into MY STUDIO and say anything about how it’s set up.LOL


  34. Debra :)
    November 24, 2008 at 3:33 am

    I have my work space in my bedroom ,and it is a cramped space but I manage . I am an on-site mini storage manager so my husband suggested that I move out into one of our storage units and set up a studio well now I am excited because then I could also get that torch I have so long wanted to purchase!! But with the hoidays it is going to have to wait until after. But I have some great ideas and cannot wait to get started! Then I can get my bedroom back to being my bedroom and I'll get more work done in my own studio. It's always in creative chaos as I like to call it, I get it organized for about a minute and then "POOF" ! But yours looks pretty organized ! I bet having all those pretty colors around gives you plenty of inspiration ! Happy Holidays to You & Yours !!

  35. Tari of claybuttons
    November 24, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Paula-That is so exciting to have half of the garage. Having your own space is so nice! Get a couple space heaters this winter!

  36. Tari of claybuttons
    November 24, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Debra-That is a great idea to move into one of the storage units! It would be like making an apartment out of one of those shipping containers. You can hang up your creative inspirations and cozy it up to be all your own. I’m excited for you!!

  37. wall art
    November 24, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    It looks interesting what you do, must be quite satisfying!
    Wall Art

  38. Paula Lee M.
    November 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Debra and Tari,

    Before we decided on the garage we looked at an 8’x12′ Shed unit, so the storage unit idea is great. Like you now I can get my torch too, and a kiln, and a power saw and anything I didn’t have room for! You are so right Tari about the heaters. I live in the Northeast and we looked into built in propane heating systems and running a line from the house from our oil heating system and they was way to expensive. so electric it is.

    Paula Lee M.

  39. Tari of claybuttons
    November 24, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    wall art-It is!

  40. Tari of claybuttons
    November 24, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Paula Lee M.-Good Luck Paula! I had anther thought about moving into the garage, do you have enough lighting? You’ll be warm with the space heaters but can you see?!!
    Have a fun! Happy Turkey Day!

  41. Anonymous
    November 24, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Tari, it’s called Studio Niche and it now LIVES in one of the corners of our bedroom (the bay window area too). It’s size is 88inches x about 55 -60 inches(an old 72×36 fold down table with old glitter and peeled wood-grain contact paper and a 2-drawer file cabinet that is the same height). On top of that is a display unit(14×44) on it’s side that was sitting on the curb one early morning for free, an old computer printer box(23×22),sitting on top of the file cabinet- that will one day be altered as a piece of furniture. A student deck with many paint layers (currently a deep coral), that has my sewing machine on it -my whatever tree and then an old night stand that I have a cardboard shoe box as shelving. From there there are more shelves and drawers stacked on top of each other sitting on the table… and one of my most favs is stacked see-thru barrels(5# 4oz Stauffer’s animal crackers and and the Krikland brand 64oz animal crackers that actually have an area molded out to fit the lid of the next container),these barrels hold ribbon by color, leaves, flowers, scraps of vintage wallpaper, etc. My beads are found in three places…a 36 drawer nuts n bolts holder, a baby food jar lazy susan and my 12 x12 pizza boxes that carry travel projects. bead containers are baby food jars, tic tac containers, altoids boxes, medicine containers even plastic snack zip lock bags. Last year my hubby brought home a plastic container that had those huge granny smith apples in them and he told the person who was about to throw it out “No! that my wife can use that!”…it holds a few of my bead containers now. Note: I DO NOT eat all those crakers! One of the maintenance guys at church saves them for me. That’s my main area -there are other places around the house that I keep drawers and containers though. Happy happies. Joyce.

  42. Tari of claybuttons
    November 25, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Joyce-WOW! I just kept saying that in my head as I was reading your post. That is quite a set-up.
    I use Altoids chewing gum tins a lot. They hold the shanks and loops I make out of high fire wire for buttons, pendants etc. I also use them for my tags. Handy! I like the recycle, reuse & repurpose.

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