I recently improved my work space! I’m a serious sculptor, and as my passion and professionalism grow, I need my work space to reflect that growth. I finally have an “L” desk, so one side can be for my products, and one side can be for the actual sculpting. There is also a smaller desk to the left that holds my plastic totes full of in-use clay. My still-wrapped clay is in front me, organized by color. All of my tools belong on the other side of the desk, still easily accessible. I have two lights attached to the desk that are placed above me so I can work properly. Under these lights is a mat with a heavy-duty transparent plastic board over that. It’s where the magic happens! Near this focal point is my bottle of Lysol or baby wipes. I find these work well for removing the clay stains from my hands- especially from the red and green clay!
Previous to this great set-up, my little desk held everything and there was limited space for the actual art-making. It was hard to keep the desk tidy as well! With the extra space I have, I also have room for inspirational things such as pictures, books, and old toys. The old toys help me channel that childlike simplicity and joy that is often present in my sculpting style. Here’s a photo of my smaller work space. It served me well for a while! You’ll recognize some of the setup, but it isn’t as crowded now.
Sometimes when I am creating and creating and creating seemingly non-stop, I need a place to put the completed but un-baked sculptures so I can move on to the next bar of clay. I have a tray on the far side of my “L” desk specifically for the completed ones that are awaiting the oven. When that tray is full after a day of “claying”, I bake everything all together. I’m a home-based artist, so I do some makeshift things. For instance, I prop up my unbaked sculptures with ceramic mugs so they’ll bake without tipping over. When the tray comes out of the oven, I wait for the sculptures to cool completely before I move them. They look silly, standing there among a bunch of mugs! But believe me, I have been disappointed many times when I have spent hours sculpting, and I pull them out of the oven to see they’ve leaned or tipped over. When I take this precaution, all that time at my work space becomes worth it! When I move those mugs out of the way and see my baked creations, I feel successful. But that’s not the end! Back to the workspace! I have to glaze them! I love using the gloss and satin glazes as a finishing touch to the art. Not only do they look smooth, but they also look more professional. It gives them a little more life, I think! On one side of my L desk, I have a tray that I put the unbaked clay figures on, and they return to it after baking as well. The tray has a flowery print on it, and I love it!
Then I leave my work space yet again, and I bring the sculptures outside to photograph them with my DSLR camera in the day light. I like to document my sculptures in photographs and keep their measurements, in case I ever sell or part with them. Usually, I like to keep my original pieces and use them as templates for creating others of the same kind. Once the sculptures have had their photoshoot, I bring them back inside and they live in my art cabinets. The photos are printed, and are put into an album that I keep near my workspace. A good, inviting work space inspires and motivates me to spend many hours there. It is like an old friend who always helps me to be the best person I can – and that would be a creative person!