Studio Time: New Uses in the New Year

Headshot Forget about spring cleaning. One of the best times to get organized is when you’re setting your goals, and there’s no better time to do that then the beginning of the new year.

Train case with paints  
New use for an old trunk by Victoria Grobels.

While flipping through the Winter 2010 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios, I noticed the trend of repurposing furniture, accessories, and other everyday items. I really appreciate this gravitation for making do with what we have, reducing waste, and getting organized all at the same time.

You can try this, too. Take a walk around your home, studio, basement and garage while trying to look at things with a new perspective. Determine the needs of your studio.

  New use for a dart board by Sue Pelletier.

Do you need more floor space, more storage, additional display area, or all of the above. I’m pretty sure I could poll 100 mixed-media artists and they would all say that they needed more studio space. I have a beautiful, dedicated studio space, and I could definitely use more room. 

Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas to get you started:

  • Use old clothespins and a length of chicken wire for an idea board.
  • Repurpose a tall stool to hold a table lamp in the perfect location.
  • Turn old door handles into hooks.
  • Use a collection of vases, mugs, or glassware to hold your assortment of markers, paintbrushes, and pencils.
  New use for a kitchen hutch by Barb Delaney.

My studio is always evolving to fit whatever it is I’m working on. When I’m prepping for a gallery show, the sewing machine is pushed aside and the worktops are all cleared. When I’m working on jewelry, I bring out my portable light and put a piece of felt on my glass table (to keep the beads from rolling around). Keeping things fresh, making room for the new, and clearing out the old stuff, creates a space you enjoy working in. A happy space makes happy art.

My advice is to keep your eyes open and your mind spinning. Your next great storage idea could be in the next room!



P.S. Studios Editor Cate Prato wanted me to tell you to keep an eye out for the Spring 2011 issue of Studios—It’s the big organization issue with a special celebrity cover! Can you guess who’s on the cover? Leave your best guess in the comment section.


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