Studio Move In Day

There’s the studio move in day, in 2009. So empty! My new studio is a huge upgrade from my old space, which was half of a room that’s about 100 square feet. Here’s what that looked like:

Bench Shot

To give you a sense of how small this area is:

just to the left of the bench is the doorway to the room.
as I sat at the bench, if I rolled my chair back, my back would hit the steel shelf that was there.

I mentioned some of the challenges about my studio in my last post about it, about taking up the challenge. I took some pics for you. Here are the challenges I’ll address in the next 30 days, on my way to the ideal studio.


Bad lighting is my first problem. Not only is this light fixture terribly underpowered – it only takes these tiny bulbs – but they also burn out with alarming frequency. I’ve purchased light fixtures that can hold day light fluorescent bulbs, but haven’t yet found time for my husband to install them for me. When the time choice is time in the studio vs. giving him to install the lights, I always choose studio time.

What’s next?


More bad lighting. This is the room next to my studio, my overflow work space. It also has horrible lighting. No thanks, previous owner of our house, for buying these awful ceiling fans.


Believe it or not, this is an after picture. Underneath there are two drawer tower thingies full of fabric. Before, they were overflowing plus there were two more bins of fabric. (Why? Do I sew a lot? No, but apparently I really like fabric.)

On top are my ironing pad and an artwork in progress, something experimental that I haven’t figured out yet. It’s big! And I don’t know where else to put it.

I went to organize the fabric and decided it would be a lot easier to organize if I gave away a bunch of it. I gave away over half and look! Now it all fits! I decided that was my goal – to make it fit in the organizing containers that I already owned. What’s left is organized by type of fabric and potential use.

With one of the newly emptied bins, I was able to put away a stack of designer fabric samples. (into a bin, so I guess it doesn’t all fit into the drawers, but much closer.)

Here’s the next biggest problem with my studio:


No door.


Here’s my fake door, this folding screen that’s made of wood and cardboard. Unfortunately, the only source of heat comes from the other room, and even with this fake door, it can get really cold.

Goal: by next winter, get a safe, installed, on-the-wall space heater and a real door.

I like having a studio at home, except for the interruptions from family members who don’t seem to understand how disruptive interruptions are to the creative process. Until I get a real door (with a lock!), perhaps some conversations are in order.

Elaine Luther's Messy Studio

Here’s my messy studio. I was gifted with ten, TEN, canvases by a neighbor who moved out of state, which was awesome, but also a bit of a storage problem.

Working in more than one medium is definitely a challenge. Making the studio work for two very different types of artwork: jewelry and mixed media painting is really difficult.

Let’s look at the closet.

Messy Closet

Ug! Not shown: paintings in the doorway of the closet.

Wool for felting

Here’s my wool for felting. I committed to moving all art and craft supplies out of the basement, which is great, but why do I have so much wool if I’m not doing much felting right now?

Supplies to Teach Felting

The closet also holds this box of tools for felting, a whole box, for teaching a class. No sign of doing that on the horizon.

Kiln Blocked

Want to use the kiln? No problem, first just move those paintings, then those other paintings, then the sewing machine.

Let’s take a closer look at that kiln:

Kiln with flamables

Nice: flammables!

One of the wonderful things about jewelry is that it’s so small! You can store lots of it in a small space. Paintings, not so much. Clearly, this is a problem to solve.

So, there it is, my messy studio. I still manage to get work done, I just have to step over some things to get to my bench.

All photos are Copyright Elaine Luther 2014.

This post was inspired in part by this post at Designing Around, where Kathryn shares pictures of her real house.

If you’re inspired to share pictures of your messy studio, please post a link to your album or post in the comments!

Have any words of wisdom or favorite organizing tricks? I’d love those too!

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