Pimp My Workbench

Once my jewelry making bench looked like this

Now it looks like this

I still have the same desk as a base but I took the legs off  and have replaced them with little book cases to add badly needed storage.   I finally can keep all my flex shaft attachments  in one place! The wall behind the bench is stucco over brick.  I had to learn how to use a hammer drill to put up the pegboard. I got an inexpensive one at Harbor Freight.  Once I got the hang of it, I was fine.

I got the wooden cubby thing at a thrift shop for five bucks.  I  found the drawer and the white hutch.  The gray shelf is part of an old Ikea Oppli TV stand I bought second hand a couple of years ago and used as a coffee table until I decided to replace it. (second hand Ikea furniture-can you get any cheaper unless it’s free?).  I took the top off, turned it upside down and took the wheels off.

I nailed a wire scrap onto the white hutch to hold pliers.  I have a lot more but these are the ones I use the most.

Harbor Freight magnetic tool holder.

An old computer keyboard drawer serves as another “drawer” for  hammers.

I found this old bannister finial.  It has a screw that used to go into the bannister but now goes into the TV stand workbench.  I use it for shaping metal.   I use the metal knob in the bench pin, probably found on trash day, for the same thing.

Side view with more storage.  The nice wood tabletop and metal racks are also found objects.  The small white riser is part of one of the shelves I had to saw off to make it the right height for the bench.

Another view

There are hooks overhead  from an old clothes line but perfect for my flex  shaft.    I am going to find a more secure way of hanging it, however, so it doesn’t fall when I use it.

I still have to find the appropriate place for my rolling mill and I have yet to install the talk holder for my EZ torch.    And I am eventually going to redo the rest of the work shop to make the storage work more efficiently.   I have so much more room now.

Olivia’s Studio

We all know what fun it is to peek into someone else’s studio.   I got the chance  to peek  into Olivia Surrat’s studio not too long ago.   Olivia works in metal and  wire with some polymer clay added for color.    Her studio is compact and efficient.  She’s lined it with Billy bookcases and added  doors to take away some of the visual clutter you get when you have thousands of components stored in see through containers.  Olivia also snagged couple of old card catalog files and a great long sturdy jeweler’s bench that looks much more comfortable to sit at than a regular bench.  And will you look at that stake in the picture with the anvil?  She found it at a house sale.  That’s where you find great stuff.

The doorway  to Olivia’s Studio

The window gives lots of light

Metal waiting to become jewelry

Here’s that great forming stake!

Some polymer clay beads in the making and some interesting glass and shell beads.

View from the bench.  Note the slots for pin vises and mandrils.

Polymer clay and PMC bracelets, and some strung glass beads.

Close up of polymer clay beads in various stages of finishing

Some of Olivia’s wire work.  She was lucky to be able to take a class with Lynn Merchant

 Beads from around the world or the house sale around the block

Olivia collects polymer clay pieces but we were having so much fun we never got to pull out her collection.  The item above is a purse by Kathleen Dustin.  The  sign on top of the shelf is a reminder that you don’t need to take everything so seriously.

Truman, Olivia’s Canine companion  is a charmer.  He’s not a true studio dog because he’s not allowed in the studio, but he gives encouragement from the hall way where he plays with his toys and anything else that people bring into his house that seems new and interesting.  Like my husband’s  briefs which kept him occupied for a good long time until we realized why he was so fascinated.

Attack of the Killer Beads (or Blog Hop Part 3)

OMG! Beads! Millions of Beads! Not killer bees, Beads! Well, I felt the same adrenalin rush but in a good way when Kristen’s beads arrived. I haven’t been able to put up pictures until today because my card reader gave out. Well, here they are. Ta Daa!

I love blue, I love encased beads and I love crystals.

And not only were there beads, the package was tied with beautiful ribbon which will probably find its way into the necklace.

I am starting to play around with design ideas in my notebook.

And since I love to take pictures, here are some more.

I think this will be my last post on the Blog Hop until the Big Reveal.

Blog Hop Part Two

I have been cleaning out my workshop. I’ve pimped my jewelry making bench (pictures later) and have been rearranging things in preparation for the major redo that I plan after we have some work done on our home. I had been hoping to get in some torch time but the heat and some other things have been sapping my endurance. The pictures below show what I sent my Blog Hop partner Kristen at MJM Jewelry Designs. I expect to receive her package this week.    It arrived in the mail today and the contents are beautiful!  But I can’t post pictures just yet because my card reader decided  to quit.   I will post pictures soon, I promise.

 I made the black polymer clay beads.  The bugle beads are pretty old.  I love the color.

I rarely make sets of anything.  The set of lamp worked beads is an exception.

One of my custom made clasps.  If you are interested in trying this project, it’s not that difficult.  You can find my project article in the new e book,  10 Easy Wire Projects Using a Micro Torch