Spotlight: “My husband claims if we ever move, this will go with the house… I won’t ever move!” ~Catalina
A couple of weeks ago there was some lively “shop talk” about studio designs in a different post about polymer clay colors. In that conversation, Diana Ledesma (aka Catalina) volunteered to send in some photos of her set up. Today you get to see them and read about her outrageously fabulous work space.
This Is What Catalina Had To Say…
Here is my studio! I have 14 photos all together [they are posted further down on this page]. Whether or not you use one or all of them is up to you.
Several years ago, the company I worked for went out of business. They had to auction everything. This is where I got my “desk”! I bought it mainly because I helped design it! It was my actual work station designed for MY needs. So, I had to buy it! Do you think $700 was too much? I don’t! :) (This is one-of-a-kind and our company’s cost to produce it was $6,000!)
It has six separate pieces which none is made with a straight line! Everything is curved! Being a corner desk, it is easy to get to everything you need. My husband had to use 500lb bolts to anchor the top “shelves” to the solid concrete walls! The whole set is made of solid wood and is very heavy to say the least! (He claims if we ever move this will go with the house! I said, “No way!” I won’t ever move!)
This set up has a built-in light table. It has a glass top so it also serves as a cutting board. It has four file drawers. Two are used for paper work and my freelance graphic work. The other two are “junk” drawers! Boxes for me to cover with clay, molds, and odds and ends. The next four drawers are for everything you can imagine right at your fingers tips. The photos can explain better.
The corner piece, where my chair is, is lower than the side counters to make it more comfortable. My computer is on a “box” to make viewing the monitor easier. The edge of the center piece is beveled (the black band edge) so your arms don’t rest against a hard edge.
The top shelves are staged at different levels to add to the design of the whole unit. It is placed at a height so I can reach everything while sitting!
One nice feature of this set up is the built-in bulletin board. The whole area under the shelving is like a pin-up board. Yes, I have used every square inch!
One of my “garage sale” finds is a metal box with “Brumberger” on it.. It hold all my different glues, glazes, canes, baby powder, embossing power, etc.
I use three coffee cups to hold all my cutting tools, brushes, and pens. Every once in a while I have to go through them and re-sort them. I’m terrible at keeping things organized.
My favorite “freebie” I got as a Michaels’ employee is the “Clay Station”! We were going to throw it away since we were getting a new fixture and my boss let me take it home! This is perfect to hold three bars of clay in each cubby hole. I turned the barcode label over and use it to label every color. This way, at a quick glance, I know what colors I’m out of and can write a list in a couple of seconds and be out the door to buy more! And it take very little space up and yet very accessible. I have one extra one and I may just list it in my shop on ETSY.com!
Lighting is important in your space. So, I have a track lighting system over head and a OTT-LITE rechargeable on my desk top. This helps when working on small jewelry findings and when true colors are important. This light makes finding the perfect color more accurate. A must have for any studio. The rechargeable is great because you can take it with you and not be bothered with a cord. Great for using as a light source for taking pictures of your work. Or for looking under your desk for that bead you just dropped! (Or in one case when I was in the living room working on an Indian hat band and spilled a whole box of black seed beads! My carpet is a dark royal blue! I used the light to pick up the beads and I was able to get every one! I won’t do THAT again! – I hope!)
On the right side of my desk, I have my pasta machine and my craft/toaster oven. Right in sight and easy to keep track of the temperature and timing.
Having my computer right in front of me makes life grand! I can look up Polymer Clay Tutor with a couple of clicks and refresh my memory on a particular technique! I used to print out ideas and tutorials but with my computer right there it saves me paper and ink!
Yes, I’m a baseball fan, Detroit Tigers are my team! Life revolves around the Tigers’ schedule, especially during the summer months. So, my wonderful husband got me an under-the-counter TV!
Remember my mentioning I have an Art Director? Well, if you haven’t guess it by now it is, Princess Daisy, my Maltese! She tells me when I can take a break, when I should eat, and when I should stop screaming at the TV whenever the Tigers’ score! She gives me her opinion on my designs. So far, she hates every barrette I made for her! You can tell just by her face in every picture I take of her with one on. :) So, her “office” is right on my left so she can keep close eye on me. (I have been know to wander off without her permission!)
Because I do so many different types of art work and all right here at the “CAT Station,” I use a glass cutting board when working with clay. It is easy to clean and easy to put aside. I use a plastic cheese ball cover to keep work in progress dust free. The metal pan that came with it I use to bake on! That, too, was a garage sale find! It holds a 4 inch ceramic tile just right!
I use plastic jewelry/bead containers to hold scrap clay. I keep them separated by color so they can be used more efficiently. I use eight of these containers for jewelry findings, as well, too. I keep them to my right on the shelf above the craft/toaster oven for easy access.
I guess by now you can see where I spend a great deal of time. It is in the basement where is it cool all year round! It’s great when I get one of those hot flashes! If it wasn’t for my dog I probably wouldn’t see the light of day! :)
Thanks in advance for spot lighting my studio. I hope it will give everyone an idea on how to approach their own space. Just to get started and can be overwhelming.
Thanks, again, for all your insight to this wonderful art form.
Wow Catalina! Your “CAT Station” is absolutely amazing! Besides having every convenience at your finger tips, I love it that you also surround yourself with your other passions… Detroit Tigers baseball and Princess Daisy, the ‘art director’ poodle. Does your husband ever see you at all?
So what do you guys think of Catalina’s Studio? Post your comments and questions in the comments section below.
** If you have been inspired by my teachings and would like to be featured in an upcoming Spotlight Article, then please do write up something creative and email it to me along with a selection of your project pics. Make sure to send me high resolution photos that I’ll be able to zoom in on to show the details of your work. If you don’t already have my email address, simply leave a comment below and I will get it to you right away.