Wednesday, May 11, 2016

First post

I've been procrastinating trying to think of a way to start this blog. The best place to start is often right in the middle. So here goes.

My studio is in chaos. A month and a half ago I retired and we moved out of the building we lived in for 34 years. My studio was in the basement, which was ill-lit, had a low ceiling, and no heating or cooling. Here's a panorama of what I used to have:
Hot work bench on the left, jeweler's bench in the middle, storage on the right
 There was also a stump where the raising stakes got mounted.
Stump and hammer storage
Hard to imagine that anything got done in that, but I started my journey to be a metals artist there and managed to get a number of pieces made.
All of that - all my tools and materials - are stacked in boxes all over the basement of the new house. Since the whole purpose of the move was so that I could set up a metalwork studio for my retirement, it's time to get to work on that.

Here's the studio today. It used to be a finished basement. The previous owners had a pool table and a bar down here.
Left side of the basement
Right side of the basement
It's a mess, isn't it? It is a much bigger space though. The ceiling is higher, the lighting is better, and it's connected to the heating and cooling for the rest of the house. I think it's going to be wonderful!

When we were moving in and getting things fixed up I took the opportunity to add electrical outlets to the wall on the left side. I intend to build a bench for my power tools - belt sander, drill press, tumbler, etc. Underneath will be storage for other tools and consumables like sanding belts.
This area will have the jeweler's bench. I've been using a big old wooden teacher's desk but I have plans for upgrading it.
Near this will be the forming area. I've got a stump and will build a stake horse. I'll also want to put together better tool storage for hammers and stakes. Right now they're in buckets and bags.

Behind the bench is a closed off area where the gas meter and main water valve are. Luckily, it's well lit so I've turned it into a storage area for chemicals and other stuff that I don't want just sitting out.

Over here is where I'd like to have the hot work area. The window would allow for venting and a fume hood. Since that will take some time and doing, I'm going to have to figure out how to do annealing and soldering for now. I didn't move the metal desk that used to be the hot work station so I need to come up with a substitute. Hot patinas will have to be applied outdoors.
Somewhere in all this will be bookshelves for the metalwork texts that I have.