Your space

There’s always a lot of interest in studios.  How do artists organize their spaces? store their supplies? make sure their materials are accessible?  and most importantly – how to keep it from becoming a total clutter.

Organizing can get out of control until you’re afraid to touch anything for fear of messing up the system. Or (more usually), organizing can just never quite happen and you’re never able to find what you want.

But, hey… don’t stress it!  Here’s my motto:


Because, really, as long as  you have a place to play, whatever else happens in there is fine.

But, here’s a few thoughts about organizing your space, especially for those of you who use polymer clay like I do.

I have glass casserole dishes all around me with the clays that I’m using in them – very loosely sorted by color families – blues and greens all in a jumble; purples and pinks together; reds, oranges and yellows all snuggly – you get the idea.  i just toss a piece of bubble wrap over the mess when I’m done for the day to keep the dust off. (Yeah, I don’t dust). Any scraps get clumped in with whatever color is predominant in the mix.


Packages of unopened clay are stored in some cheap plastic shelves that I got at Kmart or Wallmart… some kind of Mart…


(pssst, just a hint – don’t go crazy buying tons of clay and storing it!  because of the changes in clay formulas these days, unopened clays get harder faster – so buy less and use it, and then buy more!)

When it comes to all those tools you use for claying – mugs or small glass jars hold them near your fingertips, on your work surface.  And if you use a lot of other materials in your clay (beads, stones, fibers), like I do, try those drawer units that are designed to hold hardware (nails and screws and suchlike) – they’re at your neighborhood “mart” store too, and they’re really cheap. Just use a Sharpie pen to label the drawers (and if you change your mind, nail polish remover will take the old marker label off, lickitysplit!…ready for the new!).


But really, the important thing is to just have a space to make art in that you don’t have to clean up after yourself, (unless you want to).  Taking things out and putting them back will take up all your creative time and energy.  To organization I say… whatever.

Just make.  Get things more straightened/contained as you go along, one little bit at a time – don’t let your lack of organization slow you down.

This is a part of Calder’s studio (famous sculptor and kinetic artist). If he managed to get stuff done, so can we!


About christifriesen

I am an artist because I must be. My mind wanders and my fingers follow. Just feed me a little more chocolate and I'll be fine.
This entry was posted in creativity, studio organization and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Your space

  1. Oh yes, gotta have the chocolate!


  2. smamabird says:

    yes, a drawer full of chocolate

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pearlyqueenbee says:

    Hello Christi, long time no speak! I have a very tiny work room just 6ft x 6ft with work surface on two walls cupboards under and on the wall above. A sink and draining board on the opposite wall a cupboard under and another on the wall above. Huge windows on two walls which reach nearly to the ceiling so the light is wonderful. ( I paint in here too! ) I have found utilising ice cream containers very handy for gems, beads, clay or whatever and cheap they stack nicely too ( we eat a lot of ice cream lol) I have a rack on the wall that takes all my pliers cutters etc and have the sculpting tools to hand on the work top which is a cut to size old kitchen unit work top .Along the hall outside the work room door are two dressers that hold boxes of all kinds of jewellery making stuff, with shelves above, for books.

    Did I mention I have a brilliant husband who made all this happen, we designed the tiny space together and he put it all together for me years ago.

    I do tend to keep things tidy, you have to in a very small space, but I don’t always put everything away on the work bench especially if I am going back to it next day.

    Jackie ( the one from England) xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jackie-the-one-from-England! ;-D Ice cream containers are brilliant – great memories of yummy treats to go with that organizational use! I love it. And yes, working in a small space requires cleverness – which sounds like you have done perfectly! I’d love to see a picture of your space!
    I hope our paths cross again soon!!!


  5. Super – and so timely since my addition (studio, classroom, whatever) should be finished before the end of March! It’s been a long time coming and I am so excited. The neighbors even provided a spinnet piano! So now I can bop over to the piano when I need a ‘thought break’. Sure hope you’ll get to this area … as always – the OTHER cf


  6. Hi OtherCF!!!! I am so excited that your studio is almost done! That is soooooo sweet! Make sure you share the photos on my fb page when it’s ready to be shown off in all it’s glory!!!!!
    And I guess we’ll just have to have a sing-along sometime, huh? since there’s a piano and all!


  7. creativecritters77 says:

    Seems like organization is a constant struggle! I’ve been in this house for almost 3 years now and I’m still tweaking my craft room (but am SO grateful that I have an entire room just for crafting). Really, I only tidy up in between projects, and sometimes not even then when I’m on a really creative roll and sculpting one piece after another. I do like the idea of those glass casserole dishes for the opened clay and various bits- going to have to try that one! I have the ultimate accessory though- a nice plush rocking chair. I can sit and rock with my kitties on my lap while I go though my clay books (which include more than a few CF books) and other inspirational books and pictures. Something about rocking seems to help the creativity flow (and kitties are always good too).


  8. Awww! Rocking chairs and kitties – that really seems like a key to creativity! thanks for sharing it! I might have to run right out and get both!

    Liked by 1 person

    • creativecritters77 says:

      I think every artist needs at least one rocking chair and two cats, plus plenty of other critters for maximum creativity 😉 Works for me anyway! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Joanne mann says:

    I use bentiful dog food containers. They are semitransparent with different color lids. They stack up very well and hold up for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. repurposing – that’s not only responsible, but soooo convenient!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Claire says:

    I loved this post! I’m just starting to dip my toe into polymer clay, and I’m so glad I found your blog.


do you have any thoughts on this? blab about them with us!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s