Studio Saturday- Gaea Pendants

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 Donna! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box to receive your surprise bead from Cindy Gimbrone!

Welcome to my studio. As it is a small space the tour will be short. Please keep all arms and legs inside the ride. Petting studio animals may result in a licked face… Hang onto your hats…. here we go!

My studio (AKA the front porch) is cold in the winter and hot in the summer, having said that, I will say that I do a majority of work in the kitchen which has working plumbing (usually!), good lighting and it also has ac/heat! I fire up the old kiln, and I do mean old, once a month. I compile my list that is sorted by style and clay body and I add an extra one for each ordered as payment to the kiln gods/goddesses.

Once the pieces are made they are stored on cookie sheets and stacked to dry, sometimes in the oven. When all the bead making is done it is time to sort them into color pots. I like to use the old yogurt and butter containers!

Once they are checked off the orders and hopefully placed in the right color pile, I set off to glaze them. I’ve noticed that glazing the more challenging hand painted ones first is helpful. The pets and children come and go freely. Here is Lu Lu one of our four, four-legged friends! She can and will make herself comfortable whenever and wherever she likes (her name was Lady when we adopted her, we now know why!)

Finally after loading and 12 hours of firing (we have a shorter firing time if the elements are new) and then at least 18 hours of cooling time until we can crack the lid open…

Then after sorting them into orders we have a few left over…

Once the orders are invoiced (usually done to some loud and rockin’ music as I need energy to get through this! This month it was The Clash, X and The Beastie Boys! ) and packed up (always done with a good movie on! Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix!) , I take them to the post office. Once this is all done I can play with jewelry design, my favorite part! I hope you enjoyed the tour! To see more of the studio in action please visit my blog.

So the question this week is where do you create? Dedicated studio space, kitchen table or somewhere in between? Leave a comment for a chance to win a Gaea pendant.

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30 Comment

    July 26, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Great tour, Gaea!

    An easier question for me would be ‘what part of the house HAVEN’T you invaded with beads’ – LOL! I keep several trays of beading projects ready to go so I can pick up and bead in any room.

    You look so organized, and with all your helpers it’s not hard to see how you are so productive and make so many gorgeous beads.

    Thanks for a great Saturday Studio post.

  2. Gaela
    July 26, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Great photos! I love the porch with the bamboo blinds and the photo with the beads still in the kiln. I love your beads, I bought some at a bead store in Graham, NC that is now closed. I love the Lotus beads too! My studio moves around my house as I don’t have a designated space (yet) Right now I am enjoying working in my Goddess Chambers (bedroom). I have a large bathroom that provides room for the larger tools and provides access to water. So this works for now.

  3. Fab Fibers
    July 26, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I have a space of my own, but more times than not I’ve moved my projects out into the living room or kitchen. I don’t like being shut off by myself! But its nice to have a place to put away my projects when I need to. I don’t have as complex things to work with as you ceramic and glass (or clay) artists do.

  4. Emma Todd
    July 26, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    lovely tour I can picture the fun you have working there. I’m lucky that it is just the two of us in a 3 bedroom home so i work in what is known as the computer room/craft room. I haven’t quite invaded every room but there are always signs I’ve been through. Usually as soon as I go in I’m followed by both cats. One who sits at my feet the whole time unless I’m loud, the other comes in for visits, sits next to the chair and meows demanding snuggles, she always makes the perfect break time. So I have a pretty comfortable place to create

  5. abeadlady
    July 26, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    While the bulk of my beads are stored in an extra bedroom, I usually work from a tray in my recliner when I’m at home. I also hang out at our LBS so I accomplish a lot down there. I teach there and am always working on new designs.


  6. Lisa
    July 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    I am fortunate to have a designated craft room. I usually work in there most of the time because I like to work with metal and wire and need certain tools, plus I like the solitude. If I am doing something repetative like making links, then I work in the living room in front of the t.v. I would love to try my hand at ceramic beads some day….

  7. Imaginina
    July 26, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing pics of your work areas. I love to see where and how other people work.

    I too work in different areas of the house. My torch is in the basement aka Girl World. But when I am making jewelry, I move around. I think it is because when one place gets too cluttered I am uncomfortable there and move on. When all the spots are cluttered, then I have to clean and reorganize and start over.

    Either that or I have a short attention span and need a new view now and then.

  8. JanW
    July 26, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I had a porch studio when I lived in Alaska and I loved it. It was inviting, pleasant and it just made me want to be there. I have a craft room now, but I don’t want to be there, so I drag my projects around to pleasant places. I would kill for another porch studio.

  9. rosepostcards
    July 26, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks for showing the pictures of your studio. I always learn something from every studio tour. I have a separate studio space in our finished basement. It is new and I am still organizing it. Until it is all setup, I have parts of my studio all over the house.


  10. Lynn P
    July 26, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Great photos. Right now I have a corner of the living room for my beads, and a corner of my husband’s shop for my torch and larger tools.

  11. Inspired Designs by Teresa
    July 26, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks for the tour. I have an L-shaped desk set up in the family room that I work at. I also will do things like crochet or wire wrap while on the couch watching tv.

  12. Andi
    July 26, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    When we bought our house, one of the things that narrowed the selection for us was that the previous owner had added a beauty salon to the house. The salon had since been redecorated into a den/office space but we liked the availability of the separate entrance and thought that putting the plumbing back in would be no problem. (We’ve never even gotten around to trying…) When I was pregnant and on bed rest, the studio became catch-all storage. I’ve since moved out to our screened porch. It’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, but I don’t get out there much anyway, so it’s not too bad.

  13. gail
    July 26, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Wow!You are so organized!I really enjoyed the peek into your house.I just started beading a year or two ago,after a bad car wreck.I had to stay off foot for 8 mths.That's when I discovered beads&the internet.At first my bed &side table were working space,then gradually-I took over the kitchen table.Well,beads kept rolling off and I was broken so many places-I couldn't get them.But my cat,Moby,could.Slowly & with lots of patience,he began bringing them to me if he didn't lose them.As of today,I work in bedroom at an old desk ,the morning light is great.Next,onto the kithen,where tools,beads,&collections of future projects are stored.Then,when husband gets home,I shift to the last room-computer,storage,bills,books,etc.:an extra bed so I can stay up all night or whatever.It works for me.I just wish I had more space-and another bead retrieving cat!

  14. Lorelei
    July 26, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    I left a comment but didn’t post. Weird!
    I use a small spare bedroom for beading and crafting. But as it’s been hot, I’ve been utilizing my portable bead board and taking my projects to the front porch. I love sitting there so I can watch the happenings in the neighborhood while I bead.

    p.s. Look how cute you are! I think this is the first time I’ve seen what you look like!

  15. Naomi (Urban Mummy)
    July 27, 2008 at 12:16 am

    I create in a messy studio / office that I am trying to clean. It’s time consuming!!

  16. CreekHiker
    July 27, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Where DON’T I create might be an easier question to answer! I have a work shop, an art room (most paper crafts in there as I own a rubber stamp business), my kitchen table, and one section of my kitchen counter for cleaning beads. I have a photo set up on stereo speakers in the den and a wall full of counters / cabinets to store inventory in. Finally, I do my best creating for jewelry design when I highjack one of my dog’s beds (NOTHING IS SAFE!) and plop on the floor to work out a design!

  17. TA Carbone
    July 27, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    WOW this is amazing and to see the steps involved it makes me appreciate all that you all do even more. I always wanted to try this but all I can say is that it is on my wish list and will stay there until I find someone close who does this


  18. MAKUstudio
    July 27, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing your space! You are so organized! My creating space is mainly in one room of the house. But, one of the kilns is in the garage, the other (raku) is outside, washing my pieces before and after firings ends up in the laundry room, the dining table is usually taken over by shipping labels…let’s see what did I miss!!! LOL! Love your work and your furry friends! I have some of those too!

  19. SueB
    July 27, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Thank you so much Gaea! It’s great to see how other artists work. I began in a tiny 6×8 ivy covered garden shed – quaint but cramped and damp. Too cramped for lampworking safely, so hubby built a nice bench on our back patio. This was great for two seasons out of the year but cold the rest. He is just putting the finishing touches on a 12×20 studio. I am sooooo excited!! I will have an area for stained glass, an area for woodworking, and an area for lampworking. I am so pumped – can’t wait to move in and get busy. happy-happy, joy-joy!!!


  20. Lily - Tulip's Talking from the
    July 27, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    It is such an enjoyable few minutes when I have the opportunity to share in the artistic physical space of a fellow artisan.

    I have recently moved from (still in process actually) from our DD old bedroom into our guest house. We’ll now have two guestbedrooms in the main house, and I have bliss all to myself! However, I still do most of my creating on my lap watching tv. Need to prod DH along to getting the tv our here hooked up.



    P.S. I started to post some pictures on my blog if you like to take a peek at the first phase of sharing the change.

    Blog Story:


    Blog: http://tulipstalking.blogspot.com/

  21. kerri
    July 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Hey Thanks so much for the tour, it is very nice to know that others out there have a space but also move around, to other spots. Your stuf is great. I have a wonderful place that my husband has given to me it is the front of a old milking barn. By the way this was to be his gun and bullet relaoding room but being the wonderful kind soul he is he gave it to me. This year I got a air conditioner for it and that makes it so much nicer so I dont have to drag all the stuff in the house.(Notice I didnt say I didnt bring all of it in the house.) hehe. It is decorated with my grown childerns art work on all the walls in hopes of some of their creativity will rub off. Kerri

  22. :-) MaryLou
    July 27, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    It’s fun to see what other people do for their creative spaces. Me? I have a whole room dedicated to arts and crafts, but I still wind up spreading my stuff out all over the house. It just will not be contained! 🙂

  23. Valerie C.
    July 27, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I wish my stidio was that clean and organized.I use to work in my bedroom watching tv and out on the front porch watching people. I live in Las Vegas so I am able to work on my porch most of the year, except for maybe 1 month in the winter and about 2 months in the hottest part of the summer. For the most part I do have a studio that I spend most of my time in when I am not at work. My husband cleared out a very large storage room in the middle of our house and it became my studio. I have a tv and a sterio so there is no reason for me to ever come out to see daylight again. I love the solitude and Ruby dew (my little Dachshund) she helps me by eating all the fallen beads so I don't have to hunt for them. She thinks they are m&m's. It's less fattening for her.

  24. Cindy Gimbrone
    July 27, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for showing us your creative space! I think porches or in my case, a back closed in patio functions as a studio – hot in summer and cold in winter. I find it easier to put on layers to work in the cold than to risk wearing shorts when there’s hot glass ready to pop onto my lap! Then with the kilns going (I have 3), I’d rather work in the cold in the winter than in the summer.

    I agree with Lorelei – look how pretty you are! Thanks for showing us YOU!


  25. KV
    July 27, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    I so enjoyed this post and love the question posed at the end! Being a freak for the best light possible, I commandeered the most airy, spacious room in our home as a “studio” — our dining room. Lots of big windows and a gorgeous, inspiring view of our backyard.

    This works really well until some large family function occurs and all six kids and their families come home . . .

    Kathy V in NM

  26. Lisa
    July 27, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I love all of the pictures you showed! The place I create is at my formal dining room table. We use that room twice a year to eat at, so all of the other days it is a mess with all of my crafting goodies sprawled out everywhere.


  27. apolishedimage
    July 28, 2008 at 1:39 am

    I loved getting a look at your very organized studio.
    I am currently set up at a folding table in my living room because my house is under construction. Half of my stuff is in a spare bedroom that is not easy to get into and I can often be found on the couch with a bead board in my lap.

  28. Rachel @ REvangeline Designs
    July 28, 2008 at 2:35 am

    Very cool to get to know you! I like to bead on the porch in the Fall, Winter, and Spring- And when it is really hot in FL, in a quiet corner of the bedroom.

  29. AJ
    July 29, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Yay! I have a porch studio, too, but mine is the back porch. We just moved in, so I’m still getting settled — and the plastic blinds that the sellers left in there are dry-rotted and falling apart, so one of my tasks for next month is to replace them.

    Because it’s still disorganized out there, when I do bead, it’s usually on the couch in the living room. I tried beading in the van on the way to CA last week, but the lighting was bad so I gave up 😉

  30. maryharding
    July 30, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    What a wonderful studio tour Gaea. I love your porch. I used to live in the Southwest and know just how that desert heat feels in the summer. I still miss it. And what a friendly creative household you have. I do all my ceramic work in an old 1850’s barn that we used to milk cows in and have since been renovating. I share it with my husband who does picture framing and has a bookstore so it is a multipurose place but my part is completely separate as I like to be alone when I create in clay. In the house I use a large table we have in our combo kitchen dining room because there are lots of windows and I like to have natural light for beading when possible.

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