May 252011

I was browsing images of the new studio coming along in Margaux Lange’s new house and was completely jealous (and inspired) by her layout. She has a distinct area for many tasks – soldering here, fabricating there, sorting and cutting space…even a ‘resin station’!

Many artists have studio space that allows them at least a couple of different areas where they separate types of work, but some of us more or less do it all on one table, we just push things out of the way.

Well, we want to know what YOU have – answer the poll below and leave more information in the comments if you want – we’d all love to hear about your studio!




  19 Responses to “Studio poll – workspace”

  1. Well it hard to explain. I have had to move thing around a bit in the last few years you see, adult children at home and all things have had to change due to the economy. I had it all in one room but on three benches that I could get to without getting out of my nice office type chair. I could get to every thing without moving three feet in any direction to get to my soldering bench, rolling milling, shear, anvil, forming stakes, draw bench. Now that I’m in the family/dining room things aren’t so easy, I can now just reach every thing, extend and arm and it’s right there but I do now have to get up to go pickle something, just not enough electrical outlets in the area where my “studio” is now. I tried running extension cords but the dogs like to play tug-o-war with them and the new dog, Jimmy, turns out is just a stunted puppy and only about a ten month old Malamute and loves to chew up cords. It is so easy to get distracted by the TV and the computer setting just feet away from the bench where everything happens. Oh to have my room back so I can spread out again!

    • I can totally relate to moving things around. I’d actually love to get my pickle pot/soldering area away from my other ‘stations’ (such that they are). I have this nagging feeling that the pickle fumes could be contributing to rust/corrosion of my tools.

  2. In the workshop (which I took over from my husband) I have a large u-shaped table (made of old doors) each table has it’s designation–one for lapidary stone work. Its messy so I stay away from that! I have a polishing area and a soldering area. I over-lap into the basement area and have a table where I do my Pewter work and another bar-area where I do other silver work. I’ve pretty much taken over the house but do a different task in each area. I leave my areas a mess and am glad my family doesn’t get too annoyed!

    • Hi Stacey! This sounds like a good set-up. Designated areas but still close to one another/all in one area. Mine is similar, I kind of have a ‘u’ shape with different surfaces – each surface kind of has a purpose, but I tend to do a lot in one spot. I’m not sure that is such a good thing.

  3. Our studio was a sunroom/patio on back of our house. It’s a work in progress, still tweaking the organization (and that may never be completed and ever changing!) The doorways to the house and the backyard are straight across from another and split the room in half. Going around the room from right to left I have my computer hutch and printer on bookshelf also houses all my Metal Clay, Glass and Metalsmithing books. Next to that, my 120 drawer beading station (Three large 40 drawer bins back to back as triangle attached to a lazy susan base = 120 drawers in only 2 square ft) sits atop a foldout desk that holds assorted tools and supplies on top and in drawers. The far wall is my metal clay worktable with tools and supplies in bins and within easy reach. I have corner hutch that holds a TV and DVD/VHS player and gives extra storage. Continuing around the left is my standard jewelers workbench with tool caddy on top and flexshaft attached. A locking metal storage cabinet and then a tabletop (just storage now but I plan to make my photograhy station) complete the right side of the room. To the left of backdoor is our glass workbench, then a soldering/tumbling and 2 kiln station complete that side/corner. The washer and dryer on opposite wall and then large standing tool drawer chest. It’s not attractive space, but it’s functional!

    • What a stroke of genius to have the beads on a lazy susan!! Your studio sounds very organized and well laid out. I agree about the constant tweaking….its like a show booth, always a little revision going on. I like that you have computer area and TV/DVD etc. It really makes the studio an all in one place for education and such.

      • Thanks, Janice! The beading station on lazy susan my my Dad’s idea and he put it together for me! He’s brilliant at organization of tools and such and a very talented artisan himself. (Although he calls himself a hobbyist) To be honest the TV/DVD hutch was there when the sunroom was our family room… I just took it over as a studio and got rid of the futon and chairs.

  4. My jeweler’s bench is reserved for fabrication and engraving. I go through a mini conversion when switching between the 2. My engraving microscope is mounted to my bench but swings to the back, out of the way when not in use. My gravers ball and turntable are on a separate stand that is manually moved out of the way when not in use. The majority of my tools are housed in tool boxes and my dentists cabinet within reach while seated at my bench. My seat is a 5 legged stool which has about 10 inches of height adjustment, I use that a lot changing height for different tasks. My large anvil is on a mobile base that gets pushed out of the way when not in use.

    I have a conventional height workbench with a fire resistant top which is used as my soldering station. While not soldering at my bench has it’s drawback I still prefer it. I have 3 torches setup all the time and switch between then with 2 way valves. Of course my quenching and pickling stations are on this bench as well. I have second sets of any tools required that are dedicated to soldering. The pickle pot is plugged into a outlet that is wired into the main lighting circuit. When the lights in the studio are turned off that outlet is turned off as well. It is easy to forget to turn the pickle pot off but it isn’t likely I will forget to turn off the lights when leaving the studio.

    There is a small 36″ cabinet next to my studio sink. I keep the ultra sonic cleaner and my tumble on it.

    I have a table that I use for my rock cutting, faceting and graver sharpening chores. That station sets kind of in the middle of the room a couple of steps from my bench.

    I also have along a wall a relatively narrow 12″ by 8′ workbench with a 2″ thick 36″ high top. It has my large metal vise, rolling mill, hydraulic press, and a bench grinder mounted to it.

    Next to my compressor along the back wall I have a sand blasting cabinet setup. Last but not least I have a separate area for my mini-mill.

    • I think we need photos Mike. No, I’m SURE we need photos. Please? 🙂 It sounds great. . . and I am planning on dividing my areas more when I move. Hopefully I will be in set up by the end of June.

      I’m envious of your tools. . . . . .

      • Janice

        That would entail a clean up so I can take decent pictures, but for you I might consider it. LOL You will need give me a few days.


        • Whenever you might have time – we’d all love to see. You do things so well, we can all learn something from you!

  5. 1. Soldering (torch area)
    2. Piecing/Sawing (silver sweep) Rolling mill, etc.
    3. Beading, Stamping (Wall to organize beads, etc.)
    4. Chemical Area (Patina, Etch, Sink area, Tumbler, Polishing wheel.

    I’d love these four areas on different walls so I could roll to them without cross contaminating dust from sawing onto my rolling mill (which I keep covered). I’m a neat person and clean up but it would be nice to have them on separate tables but within rolling distance. And of course a photo tent in the corner.

    • Ahhh, a chemical area. I need to make a note of that – presently I do not have a sink in my studio, but that will change soon!

  6. Because I teach classes in my studio, I have a bit different set up. I actually have two rooms. The big room has my office and books, but also my bead storage and where I teach my wire working and bearings classes. The metals studio has enough bench solace for 6 people. At the moment there is a kiln at one of those spaces. I hace a bench where I do my polishing and next to that is where my drill press and flex shaft are. Next to that I have my soldering station, but I also do my enamel and resin work here also after moving things around, so I can utilize my ventilation system.

    I have a storage unit that has cubbies with 20 bins on one side and 12 on the other. On top of the bins is my guillotine shear.

    At the end of my benches I have a table with my rolling mill and large vise. This is also where I do a lot of my forging.

    I have a sink in my stuido also and next to that is a neat old cabinet I bought at a yard sale. I keep all my chemicals/soaps/and tumblers on this bench.

  7. While I said that I do everything pretty much on one bench, I do have a couple of larger tools scattered around in other areas of my shop. I have a belt sander set up on the other side of my room (on top of the table saw), and I use this for resurfacing tools and putting straight edges on silver. I have my rolling mill and table vise on another bench attached to plywood bases, which can be clamped to the bench for use, or moved out of the way as needed. it’s crowded, but it does the job. I keep stones in glass-topped boxes stacked in a plastic crate that the tape deck sits on. I like to keep them away from the tools, or stones tend to get broken. Otherwise, it’s pretty much a one-bench-does-it-all set up, and I like it. I solder on the left, and fabricate on the right. The tight space gets crowded quickly, and this forces me to put tools away frequently so I can find what I need. It works for me.

  8. I’m a new designer and moved to a new town so setting up a studio in a spare bedroom. Torches and kiln are still not set up as they are worrisome in the house. Perhaps the garage?

    • Garage is good. but if you can put in any kind of ventilation the bedroom would be fine – I know several people who have complete sudios in a bedroom.

    • Wanted to add that really – the garage is a great option but many people use the bedroom – you would just need to create a solid fireproof surface, be careful of what material your flooring is and then install a ventilation system. It may sound overwhelming, but it is very doable and unless your garage is weather proofed and climate controlled (A/C – heat) or you live in a moderate climate, the bedroom may be a good option for working year round comfortably.