Here is the front of the studio, taken on a cool, overcast day in June.
|Here are a
few shots of the torch area, it looks dark but I
actually get fantastic bright warm light in here during most of the
day. My work counter is a piece of heat resistant kitchen counter-top
that runs the whole
length of the studio. On top of it, I have large ceramic tiles which I
prefer to work on. Many people use sheet metal as a work surface but I
hate the feel of it. And, as you can see, I use the wall in front of
the torch to hang reference and inspirational pictures.
closer look at my torch, it's a Carlisle Mini CC. I
love this torch because it has a nice bushy flame great for sculptural
work. It also radiates alot of heat out to the sides making it easier
to keep big beads warm.
the area between my torch and the kiln, I keep my
mandrels in a baking pan filled with dried lentils and split peas, it
Behind the mandrels are jars of enamel powder and jars of stringer,
working tools, etc. The brass thing on the side of the pan is a bead
press, I don't use these often anymore but I have several of them.
The remote control to my stereo has to be within easy reach for when a really good song comes on and I need to crank up the volume or play it over and over again
Oh yeah, the little blue and purple shapes in the lentils are size and shape guides for using my bead presses, they're made out of unfired Fimo. They help me figure out how much glass I need when using various bead presses.
look closely at my torch you will see lots of little
black lines on the back of the marver. I added those to help me judge
the size of my beads as I work. It's basically a ruler
marked out in centimeters. If I don't watch it, my beads will become
In front of my torch is my pile of favorite working tools, my saftey glasses are off to the side along with a hand marver. In the containers marked silver and gold, I keep small torn pieces of silver and gold leaf so that I just have to reach in with tweezers and grab some when I want it. Very convenient!
my torch is my ventilation system. It's a very
strong kitchen hood vent which vents the air directly outside. It is
mounted on the wall and supported by the chains coming from the
ceiling. On the
wall are my big mashers. I also always have a spotlight directly above
my torch, you can see the top of it...it's the white thing in the
picture. Even with all the light that comes through the window, it's
not enough. That's what happens as you get older and your eyes don't
work as well as they used to.
first picture shows the kiln, this is where I put each
bead immediately after it is made. The kiln holds a steady tempurature
of 950 F° (515 C°) during the whole time I am working, as each
is finished, it goes in and is kept at that tempurature. Once I am done
working, the beads are annealed. That means that the tempurature is
held at 950F° for an additional 1 1/2 hours and then is
slowly lowered down to room tempurature over the next several hours.
makes the beads sturdy, durable and much more likely to last for many
generations to come...unless you drop them that is, but we won't even
think about that will we???
The grey machine, below the kiln in the first picture, is my oxygen concentrator. The oxygen concentrator is connected to my torch, the oxygen mixes with the propane and produces a much hotter flame than you would get from just straight propane. My propane tanks are stored outside, just on the other side of the wall in the wooden enclosure that you can see in the above picture. The small circle you can see on the wall above the wooden box, is the cover to the ventilation duct where it exits the studio.
here we are on the other side of the studio, this is
directly across from the torch. You can see my all-important fire
extinguisher and coat rack. Then comes my storage shelving, we got this
in a local hardware store but it is similar to the inexpensive shelving
units you can buy at Ikea.
The second picture shows the same area with the inclusion of the curtains I just hung in there today...I love them :O)
the first picture you can see my frit storage, and in the
wooden boxes are extra silver and gold leaf, silver wire, extra
enamels, etc. I really love this storage system, and it was
cheap too, which is always a bonus.
Below the frit shelf is my glass storage. I used pcv drain pipe that has been cut into 12" sections which are just perfect to hold glass rods. On the far wall is a small library, extra mandrels, bead release, extra glasses and a first aid kit.
but not least, along the back wall is my woodstove,
which I would be lost without in the winter. Beside the woodstove is a
little bed for my studio cat, she loves to sleep in here with me during