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organizing beads


Studio Saturday with Erin Siegel

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 Pam of Klassy Joolz!
Congratulations, Pam! You have won your choice of a mushroom pendant or a pair of yellow tulip charms from Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry!
  Send Erin PH an email with your address and
she will get your prize out to you soon!
This week we visit the studio of
Erin Siegel of Erin Siegel Jewelry
 Here is my current studio space! 
I realized I’ve never ever shared my actual jewelry studio here on Studio Saturday! Mainly,
that’s because it is usually in such a disastrous state that I wouldn’t
wish to show anyone on a good day. Recently, I received a much
needed reprieve when the grandparents took my 2 1/2 year old daughter, Nora off my hands for a weekend. What
did I do with my rare freedom from motherly duties? I cleaned out my
whole studio from top to bottom. Obviously, you can clearly see where my
priorities lie. As soon as I get a moment to myself, I go straight to
fixing up my studio! Oh, and deciding to take on that task was not that
fun, mind you. There were huge boxes upon boxes of stuff piled up under
the desk, items and paperwork that I had been avoiding dealing with for
over a year and a mish-mash of beads and findings in every corner that
had been thrown every which way. In my defense, I did have some help
with the beads going everywhere part. There’s a 2 1/2 year old cutie pie around here
that loves to play with Mama’s beads. 😉 Even with all that work, there
is plenty more I would love to do with my space, but at least it is
clean, the top of the desk is clear and I can work in there once again.
It was all well worth the effort. So, let me take you on a mini tour!
In the top picture above, you see my main work surface where I create my pieces. Here is where I keep some of my finished jewelry
and favorite displays, a few bead storage units, my essential
jewelry-making tools and some bead bowls and baskets. I love the colorful art
piece on my wall. It makes me happy to look at it. I would love to hang more art on the walls soon!

My materials wall.

This wall is directly behind the desk and chair. The
pegboard expands across almost the entire length of the wall. Over the
years of making jewelry, I’ve learned I work most efficiently when I
have my supplies out where I can see them all the time and can get to
them quickly and easily. 
My pegboard wall holds materials and tools I use on a regular basis:
metal gauge wire and beading wires, rulers and measuring tapes,
scissors, hammer, metal and leather punches, bead stops and misc. tools,
silk knotting cords, leather cords, suede lace, hemp, cotton and Irish
waxed linen cord, silk cords, dupioni ribbon, sari ribbon and fibers,
glass beads, gemstones and wood beads. 

I’ve had a few people ask me where I have acquired some of the items I
have in my studio space. In case you are wondering, too, I have provided
the following handy list of resources! I hope you enjoy the links and information. If you’d like to know about something that is not on this list, just ask me in the comments!

Clear-front Multi-Drawer storage unit: The Container Store
Small Ceramic and Metal bowls: Sur La Table
Handcrafted Driftwood Necklace and Bracelet Displays: Miss Fickle Media on Etsy
Woven Silk Easel Necklace stands: Fire Mountain Gems
Hemp Pedestal Necklace stands: Michaels Arts & Crafts Stores
Natural Linen Earring displays: Rio Grande   

White Pegboard, pegs, hooks and accessories:
Clear Plastic boxes for bead storage on pegboard: Fire Mountain Gems
Studios and organization is such an interesting topic for jewelry makers
because anyone who works with beads knows the dilemma of bead storage
and setting up a creative space that works. It is the bane of our existence! Isn’t it?
There seems to be no easy answer or solution for most of us. Ideally,
I’d love to have absolutely every bead and finding visible at a glance.
Just like when you walk into a bead shop, everything is out where you
can see it!  

How about you?
How do you like to organize your work space? 
Do you have any tips or tricks you are willing to share? 
Know of any resources for great bead storage ideas?
Help us get organized! Please share in the comments! I’d love to hear
your thoughts on studios and organization.
20-piece storage container from

a comment answering any of the above questions and you will be entered for a
chance to win this 20-piece, aluminum storage container from to organize your beads or findings!

Thanks for joining me today. Happy creating and organizing!
Erin Siegel is a jewelry designer, beading instructor and co-author of
the jewelry book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather,
Ribbon and Cords. To find out more, visit her blog: Erin Siegel Jewelry.
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