Saturday, March 16, 2013

A typical day in my studio

I normally get 3 to 5 hours max to spend in my studio per day. It's gotten to the point where I now consider it job 2 (yay! I love the extra moolah, but along with all that it's a lot of extra work)… I still love the time I spend creating, but it has grown to so much more than just a hobby and requires more of a schedule of when I do things.

Last year I did mostly made-to-order beads, but this year I decided it was time to change that: instead of creating a few of this and few of that when someone asked for it, I needed to be able to create in larger quantities, stock up, and then hopefully have time to design some new things.

I say hopefully, because I haven't yet made it there yet… every time I think I've got a surplus of something… an order or two comes in and there they go! But I'm getting a little closer! Yes, it's my second job and I truly love it!

So for today's post I wanted to take you on a mini tour of my typical work day:

Every day starts with critters. Today it was bunnies and fawns——these guys are getting their glaze—— it takes five coats to get them finished.

In between the glaze coats drying, I'm priming the next critters for painting. I'm a nut for multi-tasking and efficiency! I hate sitting still waiting for paint to dry, beads to bake, etc, so I always have more than one or two (or four!) different projects running at the same time.

Here are some more critters and focals waiting their turn for priming and antiquing. These are from about a day and a half of shaping and sculpting.

The primer is drying, so now I'm blending polymer colors for another day. I don't like to mix colors on the same day I'm going to use them because all the mixing makes the polymer too soft for handling and sculpting fine details.

And finally, more casting. These guys will be ready for detail sculpting tomorrow… or later tonight if I can squeeze in some extra time…

So, how does a typical day in your studio go for you? Are you just scrapping by with a couple hours a day, or are you lucky enough to create for a living? Are you a multi-tasker or do you like to complete one project before starting something new? Do you keep to a schedule? Or is it whenever the muse strikes?

Do share! :-)


  1. Thanks for sharing the process! Someday I would like to try polymer clay.

  2. You're much more organized than I am but it looks pretty similar, all sandwiched around job number one. Thanks for sharing your process!!

  3. I barely have any time to create. My day job as a teacher doesn't allow me a lot if free time. When do you find time to create. You mentioned you had a day job?

    1. It's a tight squeeze some days… that's why I say I get 3 to 5 hours. And of course there are some days once in a while where I get a lot less than that. My day job is from my own home, so I'm lucky enough not to have to commute, which living out in the country, saves me at least an hour and a half of time each day, but the thing that really helps the most is treating my studio time like it really is the job it is––I set a time for it and for those hours I'm in the studio until my "shift" ends. Putting myself in that mindset really helps and even though I won't get fired for being late or not putting in all the hours I had planned, it really helps me to get more done.

      And I do have to admit that on the days I'm in my studio longer other things such as housework and a full night's sleep do get pushed to the side occasionally… it really is a balancing act!

  4. My Muse has to be on call at our house, Rebekah LOL. My "day job" is caring for my family, including a 20-year-old son with Aspergers, who needs a lot of appointments with various specialists (and extra TLC), so creating is a REALLY important part of what I do for ME! Lately he has started to show interest in my PC work. I already know he is an artistic soul (he draws complex diagrams and he taught himself to play a musical instrument), so I'm hoping he will want to share my art someday. Your well-organized stations are an inspiration, Rebekah!

  5. I'm the same Rebekah, one batch firing, one in pickle, one waiting to be sanded another awaiting patina...Very interesting to see what you do - thanks for sharing.

  6. Wish I had the time...right now I am caregiver to my dad and my husband is laid up recouping from a broken leg so between the two houses I don't have much time. But when I do, I do try to multitask. Its the only way!

  7. It's great to see your multi stage process. I can appreciate that too. Thanks for sharing with us. (

  8. I always love to see photos of work in progress, and yours are fantastic!
    Like you and Lesley, I work on several projects at the same time, but I also have pieces that remain as works in progress for quite a while as I use them as examples when I'm teaching. I'm really lucky that creating and teaching others how to create their own jewellery is my day job, my business, but despite having set work hours it's still a balancing act with my young family as well! But then again, if I wasn't doing this I'd still be a secondary school teacher and trying to fit in my marking and preparation until late at night.

  9. It's difficult for me to do much multi-tasking since I make one bead at a time and pop it directly into the kiln. Other than cleaning them after they are done annealing, there's nothing else to prep. I do dip mandrels or make twisted cane while the kiln heats up. I guess that is sort of like multi-tasking...when making jewelry is really when I do things in ear wires, or maille components.


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