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About Me

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Reisterstown, MD, United States
A practicing attorney who is trying to find the time to develop a small business designing, making and selling handmade jewelry.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Does Your Studio Space Impact Your Creativity?

EI have a studio space in my finished basement.  A couple of months ago, we had a water leak in our basement.  Unfortunately, after having plumbers spend several days in our house, and having holes cut into the walls and ceiling of the basement, we still couldn't figure out where the water was coming from.  The carpet was soaked in my studio.  Not only that, we found mold under the carpet.  We pulled back the carpet and got it dried out completely and treated it for mold.  We put the carpet back and had someone come and repair all of the holes made by the plumbers searching for the source of the water leak.

I few weeks later,  the carpet in my studio was completely soaked again.  We pulled back the  carpet again and began the process of trying to dry everything out.  Again, we had mold under the carpet.  I'm allergic to mold.  So, for me, having mold is worse than it is for normal people.  If I go into the basement, I immediately start feeling the effects of mold exposure.  I get completely stopped up, my eyes turn red and watery and I begin to feel like crap.  That coupled with the fact that I cannot go more than about 48 hours without creating jewelry led to an unbelievable increase in stress in my life.

My studio is well set up.  I have a desk that has many drawers on each side for storing beads and other miscellaneous beader's stuff.

Each one of the drawers above contains an insert that is full of small sections that are great for storing beads and components.  In addition, I have a full walk-in closet with floor to ceiling drawers and shelves that holds the rest of my jewelry making supplies.  This shelving unit comes from IKEA and is really wonderful.  I also have bookcases and various and sundry containers that hold supplies and finished projects.  In short, it is a lovely space for creating and I can no longer use it because of repeating bouts of flooding and mold.

What to do?  I moved to the kitchen table and began transferring my stuff there.  Over the last three months, I  have moved about 50% of my supplies up to the kitchen table.  Most recently there has been about 12 inches of "stuff" stacked on my kitchen table and we have been forced to begin eating dinner at the kitchen island.  You would not believe the "stuff" that I had stacked on my table.  I had about 7 of the drawer inserts on the table along with about 150 plastic bags of beads.  I had 25 or 30 different tools,  10 or 12 different rolls of beading wire,  15 or 20 plastic bags of various gauges and types of metal wire, 30 tubes of seed beads of various shapes, sizes and colors.  I had 4 different beading mats, a vise, and more sterling silver components than I could have easily counted.

In the beginning, I spent time at the end of each day organizing my supplies so that we could still eat dinner at the table.  However, as time went on, more and more supplies made it to the table and I was no longer organizing everything at the end of each day.  In fact, yesterday I realized that I hadn't organized the stuff on the table for at least six or eight weeks.  It was beginning to be embarrassing.  I found myself hoping that no one stopped by to visit.  Once a week, when the maid came, she just left everything on the table alone.  It was completely out of control.

Yesterday, I cleaned it up.  I still have a ton of supplies in the kitchen but they are now organized in containers that sit on the floor behind the table.  I spent the day putting everything into labeled containers.  Now, the table is clear and we can go back to eating dinner at the table.  However, I'm feeling reluctant to create at the kitchen table.  Now that it's all clean and organized, if I get stuff out, I afraid that it will slowly get out of control again.  In addition, I've been reluctant to do certain things in my kitchen.  For example, I don't really want to use liver of sulfer in the kitchen and stick up my house.  I don't want to solder anything because my kitchen table is a beautiful cherry table.  That said, I need to create.  Will the fact that I'm creating at the kitchen table have any impact on my creativity?

We are, of course, going to kill the mold in the basement and put the carpet back down so that I can move back there.  However, as long as we cannot figure out what is causing the water leaks, I suspect it will happen again and I'll be back in the kitchen before too long.  Should I just find another place for my studio that isn't in the basement?  There isn't really another appropriate place.  Or should I just give up on eating dinner at the kitchen table and being embarrassed by the mess?

What to do?

1 comment:

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your mold allergy! I have a friend who has it too, so I sort of know what you go through with mold. Hopefully, the source of the mysterious leak has been found and dealt with by now, and you’ve got your working space back. If I had read this post when you had made it, I would have advised against returning there until after the leak had been stopped and the mold completely dealt with.