The boring stuff – cleaning routines that will save time

[caption id="attachment_35273" align="alignleft" width="663"] I have to admit the only thing that I do not enjoy about crafting is the cleaning and tidying up. If you have ever made something small from clay or just had to deal with white clay, you will understand how important it is to have a workplace which is almost sterile since the smallest dust or fibre particle can ruin your piece.
When I am working on a project, it is almost like being in a trance because I am in the zone and never realise how much time has gone by. I usually work non-stop until the table gets really cluttered and messy.
This is how my work desk looks after a week of crafting. So much clutter and mess! Before starting a new project, I would give it a good clean since I will save time when claying. Less time will be spent picking out dirt from the clay so you have even more time to create. This process has to be a strict routine since you will save precious time in the long run.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35274" align="alignleft" width="663"] First of all, clear your desk and put everything away. Having a trolley is great since you can have it near you when you work and can be tucked away after. Throw out any rubbish or anything which won’t be used again including bits of paper, cardboard, etc. Keep bits of scrap clay together even if it is a small amount since it will eventually accumulate to something useful.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35275" align="alignleft" width="663"] Getting into the habit of returning tools to where they belong will also benefit in the long run. I never spend so much time searching for something since I know exactly where they should be.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35276" align="alignleft" width="663"] Cleaning wet wipes will help you clean everything with no fuss! The alcohol in these wipes will usually wipe away dust, liquid clay, glues and even paints. An instant sterile surface in just seconds – simple![/caption] [caption id="attachment_35277" align="alignleft" width="663"] Don’t forget to clean the clay conditioning machine. Wiping rollers with the wet wipes is sufficient enough as long as remaining clay and dust is cleaned out.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35278" align="alignleft" width="663"] Unfortunately the one thing that a clayer shouldn’t have is a carpeted studio but alas this is England and it is very common to have carpeted floors. A final vacuum cleaning to pick up any dust from the surrounding area before you can finally sit down and start playing with clay again. I usually vacuum the whole room since we have a dog and her hair gets everywhere.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35279" align="alignleft" width="663"] Now that the cleaning routine has been completed, I can start claying again without having to worry about the dust. Since I make miniatures, I use a small tile as my workspace (and also to bake miniatures on). This is the great thing about being a miniaturist, we don’t need so much space! I also have a tin with my small tools (blades, small round cutters, needles) which is always with me when I am working and also some piece of adhesive putty to clean small tools and even fingers before touching clay.[/caption]