Sunday, September 8, 2013

The World's Smallest Metalsmithing Studio

A while back I mentioned on facebook that I have been working on cleaning/organizing my studio space, and I promised a picture when it was all done. Now I should point out that I use the term "studio" very loosely because my work space is actually... a coat closet, with the linen closet around the corner for additional storage.  Now this isn't the best photo because this closet is in a hallway, but I thought it might be helpful to other metalsmiths working in small spaces and apartments to see how I set it up.

So you can see that I have a very small bench in there. It's actually a portable bench that sits on a folding stand. There's a narrow space alongside the bench so I got one of those inexpensive rolling shelves to hold additional tools next to my bench. I have a hanging shoe organizer on the door to hold various frequently used tools and supplies, and drawer bins on the shelf above to hold materials. The closet bar comes in handy for keeping saw frames and safety glasses readily at hand. You can also see where I used my little mini-vise as a jury-rig clamp to hold the front of my poor little bench together. I should probably fix that so I can use my vise for its intended purpose again! Probably still looks a bit messy to some but for me this is really clean! I should probably add that I don't do any soldering or enameling in the closet. I do that on the stovetop where I have a little additional ventilation rigged up. I also avoid toxic chemicals in my work to reduce hazards associated with working in my living space.  All in all it's not so bad. My old apartment had a butler's pantry. Now THAT was a studio space, but a coat closet is better than nothing!

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