Studio Saturday with Cindy Gimbrone

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.
The winner this week is Pips! – Congratulations, you have won a copy of Chain and Bead Jewelry! . Email Lynn with your address, and she will send the book out to you.

Welcome to the studio of Cindy Gimbrone!

In the studio, I’ve usually got several projects going on at the same time. This week is no different. I have categories of projects, learning, reviewing, planning, and in-progress.

The learning project this week is working with 26 gauge wire and a crochet hook. I want to crochet wire and not just chains but crochet wire beads. Learning is about practice, practice, practice but we often we don’t mention the frustration, frustration, frustration that comes along with learning a new skill so I work on until I get frustrated. Each time I’m a little better than the last but it’s still a messy tangle of wire!

Frustration usually leads me to re-reading or reading and reviewing a new book. This week, it’s Hot Connections Jewelry by Jennifer Chin. Reviewing books refreshes me and inspires me to return to my projects.

Since I’m reading a book on metal techniques, it’s put me back in the mood to do one of my planning projects. I’ve had some bracelet blanks sitting on my work table for awhile. They’ve been staring at me for a couple of weeks. I was struck with inspiration yesterday and started to plan out a necklace. Which means this project has moved into the “in-progress” stage and that’s where you’ve found me today in my Studio. Take a look over my shoulder:

I’ve planned my design, measured the metal blanks and lined up my stamps. So I’ve given you a feel for the workflow in my studio. Before I get back to work, I’d like to  hear from you:

What is your workflow like in your studio?  Do you start a project and finish it to the end or do you have a couple of projects laid out and move from one to another?

Leave me a comment and you’ll be entered to win one of the stamped metal pendants I’m working on. I look forward to reading your comments!

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40 Comment

  1. AuntieAnnie
    July 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I love the way you title your projects by the stages they are in. I'm going to have to think of my process and put it in stages. Right now, our house is for sale, so I need to put all my projects away. I am a seed beader and I design most of my project. I have 8 photosized (4×3) plastic boxes – projects "in progress" are in those boxes with the beads that go along with them in the box. My tools are in drawers of my desk. I have a notebook for jotting down ideas a laptop computer for writing my steps down when I am actually working on projects, and a camera for taking pictures of the beaded item as I work on it step by step – I guess my stages would be:
    Inspiration and design(sketches)
    Execution – working up samples (laptop and camera work)
    Learning – reviewing books and making up items created by other designers

  2. JJoy
    July 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I have several ideas/projects working all at once. I keep the components on a plastic tray on my worktable to keep them in sight…so they're not forgotten. You know the old saying "out of sight, out of mind".

  3. Cillaw
    July 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    What is my workflow?
    I try to work from start to finish but usually I stop because what I was thinking would work needs to be revised and I need to wait on different beads to arrive in the mail.

  4. Alice
    July 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    The Hot Connections sounds like a good book to have.

    Work flow in my studio is non-existant. I have no time to finish anything so I have several half-done projects sitting there just waiting. Even on a good day, I start and stop, usually because I'm stumped on how to proceed, or because I don't like how things are working out.

  5. EB Bead and Metal Works
    July 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I can't wait to see what you come up with!
    Mom and I usually have several different projects going at once. We have necklaces laid out waiting to be assemblied, I usually work on making the lampwork beads, mom is the one who likes to saw out the copper pieces and then I enamel them. So, like a said, several things at once. And this is all usually done on Saturday and Sunday, so we have to plan accordingly to get everything done.

  6. LissC
    July 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    love your big peg board. I have a few small ones in my studio, but i would love a big ones like that!

  7. Beadroe
    July 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I almost never start and finish a project in the same sitting. I have to study and rearrange the components several times before I am happy with it. Consequently my studio is always a mess. If it isn't a mess, nothing is happening and that is not good for business.

  8. Therese's Treasures
    July 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I normally work on one project at a time, because my space is limited, but I have other projects lined up and ready to start as soon as I'm finished with the preivous project. One day when I have a room that is dedicated as my work shop I can have more than one project going at a time and expand my jewelry making skills.

  9. averilpam
    July 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    My 'studio' is my living room which isn't very big so I can't leave anything laid out! I do have various little pots with sets of beads waiting to be finished off or made up into jewellery and I try to tidy away all the polymer clay work before I get into making jewellery mode. When working with clay I usually make enough beads/components for several items in a session but don't always get them all finished if I'm hit with a new idea for the clay!

  10. Kay Ashworth
    July 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I usually have several projects going at one time. If I lose inspiration, or become bored, with one project I move on to another. My designing is very much of a zen type of process. I have to be in tune with the colors and materials to be my most creative.

  11. Sandi Volpe
    July 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I have too many projects going… so my goal is to finish them up, clean sweep my space, set up my areas better and treat myself to a whirl at the wire crochet ring:-) Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  12. Sabine
    July 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I love your peg board, as well! I am in the midst of unpacking after a cross country move, so I am working out of my bead bag on plastic trays. I have 3 or 4 projects in progress right now.


  13. Erin S
    July 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I have jewelry attention deficit disorder. I hate finishing things. I get an idea, get it halfway done and then get another idea I want to work on and leave the first thing unfinished. Often I have to force myself to go back to the first thing. It sits for weeks. Sometimes thats a good thing though, because I need time to let an idea gel to completely come together. MTV generation with a short attention span, I guess.

  14. sandi m
    July 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    It depends what I'm working on. If I'm real sure of the design, I go from start to finish. Other times I need to play and get a feel for the beads/materials in order to reach that Ah Ha moment, and that could be several days or months! When fusing fine silver I'll go into production mode – wrap wire, cut rings, solder, hammer.
    So to answer your question – it just depends….

  15. somethingunique
    July 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Cindy, love your studio, the peg board is a great idea & i had to LOL at(with) Erin just yesterday i said to my daughter i think i have beady ADD i start one thing then get something in from the post and start another thing……have a festival coming next weekend so i have to get finishing them, i received a lot yesterday i have been waiting for since the postal strike so i have more thing to distract me!
    take care and have a great weekend ttfn Lana 🙂

  16. Kym Hunter Designs
    July 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    When I first started designing jewelry, I was very annal about completing a project before I started a new one. Now I have unfinished projects all over the place and my husband hates it when my projects start taking over his work area.

  17. Elizabeth
    July 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    How do I work? When it comes to my creative jewelry work I let things flow, so I work on something for a while and then a lightbulb will go off and I move to something else. Then everything just manages to finish. I can't really call it a process, more like an ebb and flow, I guess.

  18. gailwhitehead55
    July 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    When I start a project,I visualize it in my mind,then hunt for the beads.Then I lay them out on beadboard.And rearrange,change couple of beads,lay on beadboard,rearrange,hunt for another bead,etc.I guess you get the picture.But it has been working for me!I had to stop making jewelry because of arthritis,nut doc helped and I can now do what I love,design jewelry.I found some beads and hoops that I got from you in 2008,I think.I make a wonderful necklace from them.I'm soo happy I bought them!

  19. Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio
    July 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I usually have a lot of projects going on at once. I go between clay, jewelry and online projects throughout the day. I always try to make a plan ahead of time to do things so that I can get the most accomplished such as load a kiln first thing & maybe a load of laundry so that as I am working on other things, I can take a break and turn up the kiln, switch a load, refill my coffee mug, check email… It's a circus really. But I love it!

  20. Michelle Mach
    July 9, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    While I have on occasion sat down and completed a project start to finish, it's much more likely that I have a few in stages–one on a bead board, one on the table, and maybe parts of future projects (like stamped or resin pendants) scattered wherever I made them. I'd love to have everything put away, but I tend to forget about projects if I'm too neat and tidy!

  21. Jo
    July 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I have far too many projects on the go at the moment! About half of them are pieces that need stones set in them but I can't do that until they've been hallmarked as stamping the hallmark on the back could damage the stones otherwise. Hallmarking is a legal requirement over here in the UK if an item has over 7.78g of silver of 1g of gold. I send a whole bunch off to be hallmarked together.
    I tend to work on several projects at the same time, so that while a couple of pieces are in the pickle cleaning up after soldering I've got a couple of others to file or polish. My desk looks rather chaotic at times, but I know where everything is, honest!

  22. Carol D.
    July 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Definitely lots of projects going on at once. And not just jewelry, have to count the sewing too. Then when I have deadline have to hurry and finish the needed items.

    Carol D.

  23. RivkaBelle
    July 10, 2011 at 2:32 am

    First, LOVE your studio images :o)

    Second, I like to have a couple projects going at once, especially if they're "big" projects – not too many, because then it just gets crazy. But two or three, so that I can work on one until my brain's frizzing, then change over to another and so on. Gotta have another option, or my brain freezes ;o)

  24. Off the Beadin' Path
    July 10, 2011 at 2:55 am

    I like that word, "workflow"! Right now I have "work-pverflow"! So I have too many projects going at once. Also a drawer of planned projects in plastic bags. I prefer to do one project at a time, but having another project in a separate work area is good too. I putz with that one before getting to the priority project. Love your work area, so organized and so many items within reach.

  25. substitutionqueen
    July 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I love the pegboard and think I'd be able to keep my table cleaner if I had that. I usually work on a couple of projects at a time. I can't seem to put each project into it's own little container to await finishing, so things get messy. I have a dedicated work room fortunately, but really need to get better organized with different sections that are easy to locate each category of bead or finding.

  26. Attorney Angela Lund-Logan
    July 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I have been hired to make six three-strand necklaces with earrings for a bridal party. I have put off starting any other projects until these were completed. I purchased a new piece of furniture during this time(Hobby Lobby). It is a tower with thirteen drawers and a door at the bottom. Each time I get an idea, I put the pieces for the project into a drawer. I am anxious to see how my new idea worked.

  27. Klassy Joolz
    July 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Right now I pretty much have to work on one project at a time because of limited space. I prefer to have a few going at the same time…boy to I wish I had a studio or craft room…that's a dream of mine…hopefully some day…SIGH!!!

  28. Cindy Gimbrone
    July 10, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Hello All!

    I've read through all of your comments. Thanks so much for posting! I love to hear from all of you!

    Sounds like most of us are multi-taskers or we all have bead ADD! One thing is for sure, there is never enough time to finish what we want to finish and start what we want to start!

    I have spend Studio Sunday trying to finish up the stamped pendant and have 8 scraps for every 1 I get right! Practice practice practice but my comment to you today is a way to relieve the frustration!

    Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from more readers!

    Beadfully yours 😉

  29. MoonRae
    July 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I can never work on just one thing till it's finished…I tend to overthink things and am constantly changing something or another to get it "just right" I think I too am Jewelry ADD like Erin, but when I finish, I usually love what I've done. Your work space is soooo tidy,I admire that greatly!! I have tools and components everywhere hahaha

  30. Sally Anderson
    July 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I prefer to do one thing start to finish but if I run into a snag or am confused by the process, I'll put it away and that's it. I need to revisit all those "put away" pieces and make myself get over the hump and finish them. That would feel pretty terrific!

    July 11, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I wish I could start a project and finish it to the end. The truth is I always have 2 or 3 projects I'm working on at the same time. Not very organized, but I'm trying.

  32. Cindy Gimbrone
    July 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Our workflow is what it is – we always think we should be more organized but who says so? If we're getting work done, then our unique flow of work is good for us. We don't have to be anything else but ourselves.

    Bead on!

  33. KayzKreationz
    July 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I always have lots of ideas in my head. But once I start a project, I usually try to finish it before I start another. I leave it out and stare at it until I finish it or my husband complains it's in the way. (I work on a tv tray or two in the living room) So I try to only have one or two projects going at once so it doesn't get too cluttered in the living room.

  34. Cynthia
    July 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    My "workflow" is to mostly finish what I started, before moving on to the next. This is mainly because I live with cats. I don't trust them (they are a mischievous bunch), so I put everything away when I leave the bead room! But, I have lots of ideas going at one time. I have a egg dish, similar to Heather's muffin tin idea, with small items that are started.

  35. Kristen
    July 11, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I always have a few projects going at once you know that ADD thing! I cant wait to see what you are making for the giveaway!

  36. Boot ~C
    July 12, 2011 at 2:40 am

    first, I really like the pegboard. Second I work on old trays so I always have multiple projects going on each one. The trays stack so I can go back & forth between ideas/inspirations

  37. The Clay Chick
    July 12, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I have lots of in-progress projects going on…maybe one day I'll actually finish one of them 🙂

  38. Shaiha
    July 13, 2011 at 2:47 am

    What?? I am supposed to have a flow??

    Actually mine really varies. Sometimes I am struck by an inspiration and I will put something together all in one sitting. Other times I will be looking thru my beads and discover some that look like they will play together nicely but I really don't know how they will. They will get set together on my cupboard and I will add more to it as time goes on along with little notes for ideas. Once everything gels and when I am totally stumped for ideas, I will put them together. I guess that is kinda a work flow.

  39. Anonymous
    July 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Well-I ususally have lots of pieces for projects all over my work area. Sitting down to work on them is the hardest. But when I do I like to finish the one I'm working on. Susan Z

  40. heavenlanecreations
    July 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I know I am late getting involved in this conversation, but it is fascinating to see how different people work. Sometimes I feel like I have A.D.D. because I have so many projects going on at once. But when the creative spirit speaks, most of us need to answer it. The most cathartic thing I do in my studio is sort beads and clean up finished projects. Then I feel pure and ready to begin again. What I have found recently that having deadlines for clients or shows helps me to keep creating. If I have too much time to think and ponder then I get stuck. That's when I go blog hopping or taking a class. Andrea from Heaven Lane Creations

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