My quest for re-organising my studio is complete (for now!).
Here’s some pictures and tips, some of which can be applied across disciplines, as well as to mosaics. If you are just staring out, there some ideas for setting up a making area at home too
1. Take-away tubs. I have reluctantly relinquished my love of glass jars for the more practical arrangement of plastic tubs. Please note, I did not eat that many take-away’s! I raided Poundland (dollar store) where you can get 10 for £1 (funny that…). The advantage of using these is to make use of every inch of space on the shelves and to make it much easier to see and reach all your stock.
To get over the fact that plastic is just not as nice or see-through as glass, I have stuck a sample tile on the front of each tub and this does the trick. Put the tiles in a colour order that is intuative for you as this helps a lot with searching and getting inspiration for combinations.
2. Storing stained glass – I would love to have enough studio space to construct shelves to store stained glass upright. But I haven’t. That, coupled with the fact that I use a lot of cullet (offcuts), has got me storing the stuff in small and medium sized stacktable containers (of the more sturdy kind – sourced from Ikea & pound shops).
Large sheets are stored upright in the larger tubs and I also use these to store broken china and stuff like that. It works and its safe (important if you are running classes or have little ones coming into your studio).
3. Making use of under table space – the two large tables I have in my studio are against walls and this gives me the chance to use the space underneath to store grout, tools and other equipment. Again, I use stackable plastic tubs (larger variety, these ones from IKEA). Students often ask for ideas on setting up a mosaic space at home and this is a good solution if you have no dedicated space yet. Keep all your materials in tubs under a table (in the kitchen / dining room) with a long table cloth to hide them when not in use.
4. Catching shards of glass – the other tip for those of you without a dedicated mosaic space (from one of my lovely students, Silvia) is to mosaic standing up at the sink! Personally, I like working standing up. Doing so at the sink stops most of the shards flying onto the floor (though please don’t send them down your plughole or you may need to call the drain man!). The other way of catching shards is to nip tiles into a clear ziplok bag or a large plastic tub turned on this side (there’s a bit of a plastic tub theme going on here eh?!)
Talking of those small shards…I have a fantastic children’s mosaic tutorial on using those bits that normally get thrown away coming in the next week…see you then