For years I worked on different counters and tables. They all worked just fine. However, I found the more space I had, the more mess I made. The more mess I made the less I wanted to sit down and work. I find I just can't play if my space isn't clean. I found I needed sacred space. My metalsmithing bench is dedicated, mostly I think because of the torches. So I decided why shouldn't I have a dedicated metal clay work space!
Before I can play, I have to clean. What's that saying "a clean house is a sign of a sick mind"….well there you go! But a much more creative brain! It has become a mindless chore for me to clean before I start working. Which is great! Time for my brain to get into the alpha brain state (November newsletter…did you read it yet?). This is great for a primer to unleashing the creativity. So yes, it is clean. But I can assure you it does get use. It's always a total mess after a play session, but then before I can start it must be cleaned.
At the classes I teach, I talk about my benches. I want to share what mine looks like and what works for me. I find that the jeweler's bench works great for keeping things in one small area. My bench has become my sacred space. No papers, no calculator, computer, phone, nada. Just pure creative tools and supplies. It has a candle and near it is a singing bowl (remember those triggers we talked about?). One day I will have the coordination to make it sing, but for now it hums. I have my dehydrator, task light, tool holder (ice cube tray), and various containers to hold sanding supplies, and rolling tools. The drawers are full of PMC, armatures, textures and works in progress. I've also tried all sorts of organizers, tool holders, etc. Nothing ever seems to be quite right. Sound familiar? I love the turning tool organizer, but I can't fit it on my bench with my dehydrator. Gotta have that on my bench! It speeds up my multi-task playing between pieces. Yes, I luuvvv my dehydrator I also love my jeweler's bench apron, which telescopes out when needed (shown) or can be stored out of the way. Fantastic for holding a multitude of things. Whole Lotta Whimsy will have these in stock next week!
The trays hold my sketchbook to keep notes, a studio rag, ring making tools, my cards, etc. The shelf above that catch-all tray is full of tracing paper, saral transfer paper, and sketching supplies. The best part of my bench is the shelf that my brilliant and handy Dad made for me. The top of the bench is too tall to work and uncomfortable if you raise your chair, due to no leg room. So he installed a shelf that rolls out and locks to be stationary. This is where I work all my clay. I can store my glass worksurface and black non-stick worksurface here too. Wonderful! You can add this same shelf easily as well. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy shelf hardware. Have them cut the mdf wood to fit. Then all you need is a drill!
Well I hope you'll share your bench with me. Send me a picture and your name. I'll start a file folder on the left with benches that are submitted. It could be a very cool thing. Let's see where you work! Share with us Would love to hear from you all. Please leave me comments or send me an email!
Have a super week playing at your bench