Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Creative Thinking for your Studio

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

While in Chicago, Jason and I both attended the Creative Thinking for your Studio class taught by Jenny Raymond.

We were so late getting there because we stayed with Jason's sister, Elle, who lives in downtown Chicago. Elle told us that the train would take around 40 minutes to get out by the O'Hare Airport. We left early that first morning thinking we'd have plenty of time to make it to the class and sign up. Unfortunately, there was construction on the train tracks, so we were delayed; it took us an hour to get to the Rosemont stop! So, we rushed to the convention center to be told the classes were being held through the never-ending tunnel in the Hyatt Hotel. We rushed through the longest tunnel in history to try to sign up for the class. Finally we made it to the sign up and were able to sign up quickly and run down to our class. Unfortunately, we were the late-comers and Jenny if you happen to stumble across this at some point, we apologize for running into your class late; it wasn't intentional.

When Meredith, my newest sewing machine, came and we rearranged our studio, we realized we had several issues to tackle.
1: We have very little storage space.
2: Jason has very little desk space.
3: We needed a better way to get ourselves organized.

So, we signed up for Jenny's class and got some great advice. Rather than keeping my large ironing board out all the time, the girls in the class suggested I make a small table top ironing board that I can use on the end of my desk.

The ironing board we plan on making will be out of either masonite or plywood. We'll cover it with a product called Insulbrite for insulation and then cover it with something kind of fun. By making this ironing board for my desk, we'll free up a huge bit of wall space for a design wall.

The design wall is made by using some of the thick pink rigid insulation (from your local hardware store) and covering it with either flannel or felt. You want to use the thick (2" or so) insulation so that you are able to push pins into it without causing too much trouble for your wall. I think I'll cover my design wall in a white flannel. I think the flannel has a softer look; it's not quite as harsh to look at as the felt is.

What is a design wall? It's a wall that you can stick (Yes! You just press your project up to the wall!) your blocks to arrange, clothing pieces to analyze, etc. Basically it's for everything that you need to look at from a distance and want to see all together. It's better than laying things on the floor or table because you can see the whole board at once by providing yourself with a little distance.

Another good suggestion I think people don't often think about is to use vertical storage, not horizontal. Get a tall bookcase rather than a short long one. Use shelving up high for things you don't use very often or things you want to display.

One thing that is a necessity for a good studio is lighting. The biggest problem I've had with our studio since our latest rearrangement is when I'm ironing in the evening and I can't see because the light is behind me. Lighting is key to a good studio!

So these are some of the cool tips I learned in our Studio arranging class. I hope they're a little helpful for you!

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