Artist name: Libby Mills
Blog: Libzoid Blog
Flickr: Libzoid Flickr Photos
Do you have a dedicated studio/artistic space? Yes, I am lucky to have a studio all to myself
Where is it located? In the basement of our home
Is it a large or small space? It’s a pretty large space. It’s large enough for me to pull out a couple of extra folding tables and invite friends over for a clay day or hold a small class.
What medium(s) do you work in? Do you have a separate area for each? I work in polymer clay, metal and sometimes beadwork. I have dedicated work table for my polymer clay, a bench for my metal jewelry work and a separate table for soldering. I’ve also got a multipurpose work table in the center of the room.
What one word would you use to describe your studio? Bright. I had to laugh when I realized that was the first word that came to mind because it’s a basement studio. I don’t have any windows for natural light, but the space is bright with light from full spectrum fluorescent lights, white walls and a white floor. I painted the closet doors a rainbow of bright colors which always makes me smile.
What do you think is the best feature of your studio? The size. It gives me a lot of flexibility. I also have to sing the praises of my sink. This is the first studio I have that has a sink and I really love it.
What would you change if you could? I’d really love to have a window or two for natural light, but it’s not something feasible in this space. If I could, I’d have a long counter and cabinets along the sink wall instead of just tables.
Can you share an organizational tip? Label everything, with as much detail as practical. My bead stash is organized by color and size and all the drawers are labeled. It makes finding beads for a project so much faster. I also use cafeteria trays a lot. They make wonderful portable beading work surfaces. They are also great for holding sheets of clay when I mix a new palette of colors.
Describe the usual state of your work table? Cluttered. I try to clean up my work tables fairly often, but once I really start working things get cluttered fast.
Does your work table face out into the room or toward the wall? My polymer clay work table faces out into the room and my jewelery bench faces the wall.
What’s one drawback of your studio/artistic space? The basement location. The lack of natural light is the biggest drawback. Having a basement studio can be pretty cold too. It’s nice during the summer because it stays cool, but it’s cold during the rest of the year even though it’s heated. My feet get especially cold because the floor is just vinyl tile over the concrete.
Do you have any studio mascots (pets, mannequin whatever)? I have a mannequin I dubbed “Hildy” and an artist bear named Ginger that my older daughter made in middle school. Hildy is very useful when I need to check how a necklace design looks on. She’s no help with earrings though because she doesn’t have a head.
Do you have an idea wall or inspiration board? I have 2 cork boards which are covered with artists’ postcards, a few miscellaneous beads and sketches of design ideas etc.. I also have a number of college collages I created after a Lindly Haunani workshop tacked up on the far wall of the studio.
Do you listen to music in your studio? What kind? I listen to audio books most often, but I also listen to a variety of music. I like a lot of different types of music while I work: gaelic, folk, pop, show tunes, country and occasionally classical.
Do you display your own work in your studio? Other artists’ work? Yes, both. I’ve got pieces of my own work and some by friends on a display shelf. I also change the necklaces Hildy wears often, sometimes it’s one I’ve made and often it’s a necklace by another artist.
What’s one quirk or unusual feature of your studio? When we finished the basement, we discovered that a nook by the stairs made a perfect space for my photo set-up. It’s great to have the photo cube set up all the time. It makes it easy to take quick photos when I finish a piece.