Monday, November 8, 2010

My work space

The time has come to show you my work space. I haven't felt like doing so before, for a few reasons. My bench is never tidy. I do actually vacuum around my workspace and on the floor (bye bye bits of solder and tiny gemstones I always drop on the floor) but I tend to avoid my bench. There are usually tons of tiny things lying around there in a weird organized chaos, and doing anything there - cleaning-wise - is something that disrupts the organized chaos. But then my team, the Aspiring Metalsmiths, came with the idea of doing coordinated blog posts, the first one of which is due now. Funnily enough I was the one who suggested that it would be 'show us your workspace'.

So no, I haven't felt like showing my work space, and the second reason is that it's not all that impressive. I have a metalsmithing class every week, and I wish I could just take a picture in their studio and pretend it was my bench. Every inch of free space is filled with tools, tools, tools, silver dust and half finished creations. I would like my work space to look creative like that. Instead I mostly feel like it's dirty and messy.

But, no dilly-dallying. The time has come.  This is my house, and you can see that it isn't big. It's nice, but not big. Behind that window on the first floor is my work space. It's not perfect: it's dark, there is no water and well, there is the slanting roof. But it's better than the kitchen table and I can just leave my stuff everywhere. ;-)

Here is my work space:
'Scuse the fish eye view but it's the easiest way of showing most things. Since I work with metal clay and silver sheet I alternate between work surfaces. I have a plastic surface I cover my table with when I work with metal clay. On my desk you see some playing cards where it says 'metal clay' and that's where I keep my metal clay items in progress. It happens that my cats walk over my bench and I come back to some crumbles, but I haven't figured out how I can keep them off the bench so I'll have to live with that. So I basically have everything on one table with some tools, wire, cabs, etc in drawers surrounding the area.
The flexshaft bit and file holder on the left is actually a repurposed pipette tip holder from my work. We just throw them away but they are great for these tool bits. I don't even remember what I had before these.

Of course you can also just take a piece of wood and drill some holes in it but this is my solution for now.

I have already shown my kiln but since it's part of my work area I should show it again:

There it is, on four ceramic tiles. Behind it you can see the cupboard with all my receipts and all my stuff for shipping.

I also store my entire essential oil collection there, which I use to make soaps and balms for my other shop, GreenLivingSoap. I won't show you the corner where I keep big bottles of vegetable oils, soap molds, glass bottles, lip balm containers, waxes, etc in cardboard boxes. It's behind my back from where I stand when I take this picture.

When we're allowed to extend our house the plan is to make a real room of this floor, with more cupboard space, and hopefully water. Although the walks up and down the stairs must be good for me in some way.

So this is it for now, my tidy bench (didn't dare to show the before photo, which I'm sure I deleted) and surrounding area.

And finally, a hobby is such a good excuse for buying all sorts of these (not that I bought the Rio Grande catalog, it's just in the same pile):

This blog post was part of a team effort, and please check out similar posts by my Aspiring Metalsmiths teammies:

Jessica Lopour -
Jeanne Millman, Golden Water Creations
Sylvia Anderson
Steph Stargell Designs
Clarity, Scrollwork Designs,
Brandy, The Frogs Pond
All Wired Up Jewelry Designs
Lisa Rippingale Robertson
Heather, Misty Ridge Designs
Nancy Creations -
Carole Axium

Or see the list of blogs here.


  1. OMG, it's so clean and organized! I'd NEVER show mine.

  2. This is very organized, Esme! You should see mine! The workshed is organized, but my work area inside is definitely not! I like where you live, can I come and stay with you?

  3. I love seeing other peeps benches.

  4. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing your space with us...I love it! :)

  5. Gloria, I cleaned of course! I didn't dare to show it the way it usually looks ;)

  6. Esme, I LOVE your house!!! Living near the wood should be a good experience!!! I could imagine when it is you packed...haha...

  7. Love your whole set up- and such a beautiful place to work. Love how you have everything labeled!

  8. Your home is in such a lovely setting! Your workspace is pretty cool, Esme...SO organized. I love your resourcefulness in using the pipette holder for bits and such!

  9. Pennee, it must be from my work. I always have to label tubes and flasks with everything. I'm afraid I forget everything if I don't..