My Workspace ’cause it ain’t a studio!

by laurie jane kern on April 6, 2009

When we bought our house, I got the bonus room! It a huge 16′ by 16′ space over the garage. It cost a bit more money but I had a sub-floor laid and vinyl floor laid. What I found interesting was that the carpet was considered “standard” – I guess the foam padding means they can leave the floor as rough and uneven as they want.

Why did I get the bonus room? I needed an office and a place for my sewing. So in one corner is the desk, book shelves and my computers (I am currently a software engineer, but that’s another post). In the opposite corner is my sewing table, dress dummy, ironing board, and cutting table, the small closet has all the fabric. I have been sewing clothing, quilts, pillows, purses, bags, bathrobes, etc for over 30 years.  The e-Man got an office, but his hobbies did not require as much room as mine.

Here is my sewing area.

And the vinyl flooring. Trust me when you sew you don’t want carpet. First there is getting all the thread and sewing shmutz cleaned up. Then there are the dropped pins or the dropped dish of pins!

So when you then start getting into making silver jewelry where do you set up your workspace. We do not have a basement. IF we did, that would be where I would have put a sewing “studio”.

Out in the garage? – Even though this is California we are inland and it is semi-desert. That means it is 100+ during the summer and 56-60 during the winter. The perfect temperature, about 70, happens from late March through the end of April and again from October through early December. Though there are days it can swing in either direction, at any time during these period.

Then there is the issue of having a day job (that darn software engineering thing again). Working in the garage at night is rather lonly. That is when I decided to “convert” the sewing area into Silver Workshop.

As you will see this affords me the most space, keeps me inside (A/C in the summer, Heat in the winter) and I can easily break it down to do a few weeks of sewing too.

I take out the sewing machine, and raise the platform it sits on, so the “hole” is closed. This allows me to sit at the table easier. I then clear the table and lay down two layers of freezer paper, waxy side down. This I tape down with painter’s tape. I also lay down two large sheets of plain paper so I can change them easily, pluse the paper gives me a place to jot down quick notes. I leave the two natural light lamps to give me pleny of light.

I then place down a large floor tile, that was leftover from the house being built. On this tile I do my soldering. The tile protects the table from getting burned.  I use the ironing board to hold my dremel tool for cutting coils (inside a large zip bag to collect the silver dust)

Then around me I place my bench block and hammers. Layout the pliers. Attach the coil winder to the far left side so not to walk into it and rip my clothing (or me!). I place my pickel pot on the floor, by a plug and out of the way of foot traffic.

Here are the pictures of my workshop

The tool box which can hold almost everything but the tile and table!

The table, cleared of sewing, with the paper laid down and taped.

The soldering station with tile, water, torch. Vice and dremel tools to the left

Looking across the table from the left, coil winder in the front

Bench Block and Hammers to my right

laurie jane kern

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