I have a dedicated clay desk that is perfect for organizing my most used supplies and working on. The desk is heavy and sturdy, so it doesn’t shake when I use my pasta maker and the surface is nice and glossy so I could work right onto it, but I mostly use tiles.
TIP: Use tiles from the hardware store as your clay surface to work on as they are portable, easy to clean, and you can bake right on them.
On my desk are my most used tools. I have this amazing box storage that I keep my clay scraps in, by rainbow order. You can snag one from Amazon.
TIP: Be sure to choose containers that are made of Polypropylene or PP plastic. A box made of PP plastic will have the recycling symbol #5 on the bottom.
Right at hand, I have my jar full of clay tools, a little clay bowl that holds the tiniest scraps that I scrap off my blade and reuse - so NOTHING goes to waste! - and a jar of cornstarch.
TIP: You can use cornstarch to mix in clay that is feeling too sticky, dip your cutters in it to get a clean cut without sticking, and to smooth off any fingerprints on your clay - it just wipes right off after baking.
In my top drawer I keep all my small tools, like texture mats and rollers, bead makers, my earring backs and cards, plus my tripod so I can film my process for social media, and pantone color cards for inspiration.
Below that is a wasteland for larger pieces of used clay that just gets tossed into gallon bags when it won’t fit into the organizer on top of my desk. Plus, I keep my acrylics paints here which I like to add to my clay pieces to paint on details.
Then I have my clay cart!! This is where the organized chaos begins. The top is a beautiful row of rainbow clay that is unopened (and yet I keep buying more), then I have so many extra tools, old pieces that need to be reworked, molds, and projects I’ll get around to doing’....
Next up, in my closet I have this Organizer that holds (most of!) my daily use clay cutters for earrings. I have them labeled by style, shape and use and it’s so nice and easy to quickly pull out what I need.
I have a little ‘finishing’ station where I keep all my essentials for creating a polished look. I have Acetone, cotton swabs and cotton balls for cleaning my pieces, different drill bits for sanding, Sculpey glazes, and glues.
Once my clay is ready to be baked, I use a small toaster oven to bake and have a cooling station beside it.
TIP: Place heat resistant mats under your toaster oven and cooling station for safety.
Once a clay piece is finished, it goes into the bins ready for processing and finishing.
TIP: If you’re always in different stages of projects, organize bins by stage so you know where to pick up next. I have bins that are labeled as: backs needed, sand, drill, assemble, etc.
And then this little workhorse goes everywhere with me! This bin holds all of my findings and earring backs!
The last bins! (for now!) Are my bigger supply bins, again organized by use. I have one that holds all of my different size tiles for creating/baking, different bowls that are oven safe to create bowl shapes, towels for drying jewelry after its been washed, potholders, etc.
And one that has my sanding kit: A wood block for drilling, my Dremel tool, my respirator for safety.
Thats it! That’s my clay studio and jewelry process and chaotic organization method! Plus I have a display space where customers can come shop and browse my creations - and bonus, watch me work and interact with the clay themselves to get a better understanding of how it’s made.