Out With the Old, In With the New…

The current FlamingHot topic is “What are you grand plans for the year?”

Well, I already blogged about my studio focus for the year and that I’m coining it “Art for Art’s Sake.” But, in an effort to follow the sentiment of “Out With the Old, In With the New” I’m making a personal goal to reduce clutter.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  That sounds like a goal that I’ve been meaning to get to every year, right?  But this is the year.  (And I just typed that as my 6 year old handed me a package of daddy’s old guitar strings that I asked him to save for me.  I tossed them into a pile with other stuff on the side of my desk).

Seriously though.  While Cathy Lybarger considered naming 2008 “The year of clean laundry and dirty living” I am going to coin the personal part of my year, “The year of no more $h*t on my counters.”  If you follow my battle with counter top clutter you know that this is not going to be an easy feat.  But, unless I want to ruin my kids for life, I must undertake this challenge.  Or maybe I should get worse at it since you know kids want to be exactly opposite of their parents, right?

Check in with me later to see how I’m doing.  Right now I’m off to buy industrial sized garbage bags for the initial clearing.

By the time 2009 rolls around my kids rooms will be de-toyed.  The ‘play room’ will be converted into a game/video room and the computers will be moved out of the living room.  Heck, I might even get around to some decorating here or there.  On second thought, maybe I should save that one for next year.  I don’t want to over-do it, you know.

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.