Efficiency in the Artist Studio

Glass Lampwork Ocean Monet BeadEfficiency is something that I was taught in my past life as a legal secretary. Actually, I was taught to conserve key strokes.

I worked at a big firm in Chicago and they had macros for everything…so, if you were going to draft a will you would hit alt+o, or something like that, and it would automatically format the document for 13″ paper and a special margin of a double red line down the left so that the text would not print over it. It also inserted a page numbering scheme. Now, if I were to do that manually for every single will that I created, it would be a lot of key strokes and take a lot of time. Same goes for moving around a document, etc. Every key stroke takes time. And they add up, no matter how insignificant it might seem. So, that stuck with me.

When designing my studio that was ever present in my mind. I would think, every time I have to get up to get glass (even if it was 2 steps away) it will take time, so put it near the torch…every time I need to put something into the kiln, it would take time to get to it, so put it within reaching distance. Put the file cabinets and shipping item storage near the computer because that is where you do paperwork. Etc. To me, that is an obvious way to do things.

I realized the other day that I’ve done that with my torch space too and I bet a lot of people do this…the tools need to be in basically the same place so you know exactly where to reach when you’re in the middle of a bead.

My tools for rolling have to be positioned just right so that I’m not searching around or readjusting while I have a hot bead in my hand. My glass colors have to be exactly where they’re supposed to be so I can access them in a split second (reaching and searching takes time!)

To look at my studio on a lived-in day you wouldn’t believe that it is the most efficient set-up possible…for me. It makes a world of difference and makes you more productive, if that is one of your goals.