My Studio Then and Now

Libby Mills ran a series on her blog a few years ago called Studio Snapshot and she was kind enough to feature my workspace in one of her posts.  I thought it would be fun to do a then and now post of my space.


A little neater. now, don’t you think?  I have to confess that one of the reasons it’s so orderly is because I am not in the middle of any projects now, because I am recovering from hand surgery and because I have been cleaning.   Our boiler and water heater entered into a mutual suicide pact last week which necessitated replacing them both with this new gizmo.  Which necessitated drilling through the foundation.  Which created lots of dust.

The New Gizmo

New Gizmo does not need to use the chimney as it is vented out the side of the house, and the workshop is so clean is because I have been steam cleaning the fine layer of dust off of everything.

Chimney opening

This means I can move my kiln and my polymer oven to the back basement, install a ventilation system  like this one that will blow out the chimney, and gain some space in the front basement.    I do not plan to add anything else to the front basement because I like the idea of having more room to stretch,  something I did not always have. But I will have to have some electrical work done in the back so I can run my kiln, oven, and ventilation system there.  I haven’t done any lamp working for a few years but I have worked with bronze metal clay, porcelain clay, and have done some glass fusing.


Pretty Cluttered

I have donated all but my very favorite beads ( which leaves quite a lot of them) and have installed new lighting in the work space.  And I have gotten rid of a TON of supples, paints, fabric, glues, found objects, old tools, metal and more to good homes.

I replaced all my old furniture with Ikea Helmer cabinets and Linmon table tops  When I like about this is when you want to move supplies, you can simply switch drawers. Everything fits! And everything’s on wheels which makes it doubly convenient.  You can move things around without a lot of fuss.



I still have my old watchmaking bench but I use it for display and to hold supplies


When your space is as small as mine, something has to go every time you bring something new in.  I snagged this cabinet for $5.00 at a house sale.  I am still deciding what to toss.


I don’t think I will ever have enough hammers though.


In My Workshop Right Now (as of Yesterday)

Colored porcelain jewelry elements waiting to be bisque fired.


Experimenting with different textures.



Colored porcelain pinch pots.


The cracks can stay


I work on fabric or canvas

The polymer side of the table


Making fish (taught by Amy Sutryn at May meeting of Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild)


One lazy Bluefish

A Post on POST (Philadelphia Open Studio Tours)

One of the best times you can have that’s legal and for all ages (except maybe the very young who tend to run, grab things and knock stuff over) is visiting working studios of Philadelphia Artists during the two weekends of the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. Most artists love to talk about their work and the Open Studio Tour is a great way for them to reach out to the public.


This year I went with some friends to visit the artists in the studios at the 915 Spring Garden Street Building.  It’s an old factory with light filled spaces,  old beaten down wooden floors and an old industrial cage elevator that is very steampunk.


Janell Wysock‘s fiber art hangs in the hall.


imageA peek into Janell Wysock’s studio



Emily Squires Levine   (foreground, polymer vases) was showing in ceramic artist Peter Cunicelli’s studio (see his work in the background.)



Jorge Caligiuri‘s work is worth a trip to his studio.  He traveled to Italy to study the art of fresco making and is one of the few artists in the US currently using this technique in his work.



imageRachel Constantine



imageRobert Sampson




imageRobert McNellis


I didn’t try to take pictures of the artwork because most of these artists have web sites which display it much better than I could.   Press here for a directory of artists in the building.    And be sure to check out the web sites of Susan O’Reilly and Nari Kim, two artists whose work I especially enjoyed.

Take a Peek into My Workshop

It’s been a while since Libby Mills  profiled my workshop in her blog’s Studio Snapshot series.  Since then, I’ve branched out into other mediums including felt,  do more metalsmithing,  and have acquired some new tools.

I am lucky enough to have a dedicated space for my work, but I live in a small house and purge regularly out of necessity.  This includes my workshop.  My current set up is the result of  regular purging and many wasted hours playing Tetris.

Here are some pictures of the ordered chaos.