I have something super exciting to share with you! I haven’t shared very much on this topic before, but decided it was time to let you in on my own little world and give you a...
TOUR OF MY STUDIO!
This is really special because I have never shared these details before. And I really hope watching a tour of my studio and hearing how I have laid it out will help you with planning your own studio space.
WHAT MAKES MY STUDIO SPECIAL?
My studio is a bit unique, or should I say TINY! And I still have been able to produce thousands upon thousands of pieces in it, attend numerous craft shows, and serve over 50 different retailers in North America with my products.
I’ve mastered cramming a lot of stuff in one small space let me tell you.
I want to walk you through my studio because I think you can relate. You don’t have to have a big fancy studio to start or lots of space, or even running water. And I hope it also helps you in laying out your own studio or rearranging your studio to make some room to incorporate slip casting.
My studio is small, it is only 200 square feet and I have been able to make thousands of pots in it. I have definitely shoved a lot of stuff in this studio over the years trying to maximize the space.
I like to have a large table/work surface for either hand building or prepping pots for a bisque firing or glazing. I like this large table to be right across from my shelving unit. My shelving unit is a place for the in process pots to dry before they are ready to fire and glaze. The pots move from the shelving unit to the table frequently while they are in process, so having the two close together is very handy and reduces having to walk around the studio a lot.
I actually don’t have running water in my studio and it has been like this for 4-5 years and I have managed just fine. I bring a pail full of water into the studio every few days to use to wash tools. I keep a jug of clean water when I need fresh clean water to use. This is totally do-able. If you are starting a studio, you don’t have to have running water. You can totally get a studio set up without it.
Having shelves high up to store light things like tools, containers and buckets, any necessary books, laundry, towels, etc. saves on floor space for the heavier items.
I have two larger tables (one 6’ and one 8’) to use for slip casting. While the molds are setting up with slip in them, they can’t be moved. So I need a lot of work surface area to keep my molds on. I rotate between these two tables while I slip cast. While one table is full of molds and casting, I beginning cast the other table full of molds. By the time I am done filling all the molds on one table and doing any necessary tasks to get ready for more slip casting like mixing up slip or colouring slip, the other molds are ready to be emptied, trimmed and removed from the table. They are then set on metal shelving units to dry until they are demolded.
Here is a close up of my tables and the system I use for draining my molds. I have bought simple plastic storage containers and storage racks from my local hardware store. When I empty my mold, I place it upside down on this rack system. The excess slip can drain out of my mold and into the plastic countainer. Pieces of 1x1 wood lay on top, which allows the mold to be placed on an angle upside-down. This prevents the slip from creating a drip mark in the centre of the pot.
I use large metal racks to keep my molds on. They are really strong as molds can get very heavy. I also use a dehumidifier in my studio. Clay contains water, and as the clay dries to get ready to be fired, moisture is released into the air creating a very humid environment. Having a dehumidifier can help to draw out the moisture in the air and help pots to dry faster. It can also dry out your molds to be able to cast them quicker again.
And there you have it! A little tour of my studio and how I have laid things out. A studio that does slip casting does require some different tools and set up. Space is a big thing since the molds take a lot of room.
If you haven’t yet, watch the video above, as it goes over more in-depth how I have set up my tiny studio.