Studio Snapshot – Amy Crawley

Artist name: Amy Crawley

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Location: Massachusetts

Website: Moonroom Crafts

Blog if you have one: Moonroom Muse

Any other web link you’d like to share: Bolton Artisan Guild This is the local art guild I belong to.

Do you have a dedicated studio/artistic space? Yes

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Where is it located? A finished attic (4th floor of the house)

Is it a large or small space? It is a large space, about 1200 sq. ft. The main studio area is approximately 28’ x 35’. The “finishing” room is approximately 12’ x 14’

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What medium(s) do you work in? Do you have a separate area for each? I consider myself a mixed media artist working primarily with polymer clay. I have three work tables; one for the polymer clay, one for assembling and holding in-process work, and one for paper/collage/painting, etc. I have a separate finishing room where I have my oven, a sink, cabinets, my buffing wheel, shipping supplies, and my photo cube.

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What one word would you use to describe your studio? Roomy

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What do you think is the best feature of your studio? It is a dedicated area solely for the creation of my art. It also has five windows.

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What would you change if you could? Probably nothing; perhaps the lighting. We put in recessed lights and sometimes it isn’t quite enough. I’d like to get new curtains and paint the walls. And I’m still thinking about removing the closet doors.

Can you share an organizational tip? Have as much storage as possible.

I have several rolling carts (wheels removed) with multiple drawers that are great. A friend built a wall display for my rubber stamps. White boards are great for keeping track of orders, due dates, deadlines, etc. Bookcases are essential.

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Describe the usual state of your work table? In the past it would be quite cluttered with whatever I was working on at the time. Recently I’ve gotten into the habit of clearing the work space at the end of the day. This makes it easier to get started the next day. When the studio gets too cluttered my creative muse starts to shut down and the energy drops. Clear studio equals better energy flow for me. (Note: I did not say “neat” just “clear.”)

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Does your work table face out into the room or toward the wall? Two work tables are perpendicular to the back wall with the short ends facing the windows so they both face into the room. I can look out the window or at a wall from either table. The third table sits in the middle of the room. I can walk around all three tables. It’s that space thing again; it keeps the energy flowing.

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What’s one drawback of your studio/artistic space? I don’t feel there are any drawbacks. It is my refuge.

Do you have any studio mascots? Yep, Pippin (in the chair) and Woody are frequent visitors. They are also my Q&A department.

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Do you have an idea wall or inspiration board? I have a bulletin board that has postcards and such on it. I also have several sketchbooks with pictures and ideas in them.

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Do you listen to music in your studio? What kind? Yes; iTunes plays almost continuously in the studio. I have two play-lists; one has a mash-up of music from classical to rock to world tunes. The other play-list is all instrumental; new age, classical, ethereal tunes. What I listen to all depends on my mood, the time of day and what I’m working on.

Do you display your own work in your studio? Other artists’ work? Yes and yes. I have one wall, a window seat area, and a small cabinet for my work and pieces I’ve collected from other artists. I also have several pieces hanging in the studio, including work I did in high school and other artists as well.

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What’s one quirk or unusual feature of your studio? I have a dedicated sacred space in my studio. This is where I meditate and write in my journal.

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Studio Snapshot – Martha Aleo

Artist name: Martha Aleo

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Location:  Pennsylvania
Website: Martha Aleo
Blog: Ornamento

Do you have a dedicated studio/artistic space? Yes.
Where is it located? In my basement

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Is it a large or small space? Small on space, large on function. I live in a 930 Sq. foot house that is more than 150 years old.
What medium(s) do you work in? Mixed media consisting of metalsmithing, beading (off loom bead weaving and bead stringing), lampworking, glass fusing, enameling, polymer clay, and some paper crafts. I have to be careful about ventilation, so I do the enameling and lampworking in the months when I can have windows open and fans going. I also have a fire extinguisher and sink nearby.
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Do you have a separate area for each? Yes. I also have a portable photography station that stores under one of the work surfaces.

What one word would you use to describe your studio? Cozy

What do you think is the best feature of your studio? Everything is close at hand and organized. It might not look that way, but I work in several mediums so it has to be organized so I can find things. When I clear away my metal working space, I have room for a friend to join me for polymer claying or beading.

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What would you change if you could? More room and more electrical outlets.

Can you share an organizational tip? Have everything visible or you will forget you have it. Label containers with their contents.

Describe the usual state of your work table?
Cluttered, but when I am finished with a project, I put everything back in its place. This helps me to find it when I need it next and to preserve what few brain cells I still possess.

Does your work table face out into the room or toward the wall?
Both. I have more than one work area. Everything is made from old chopped up furniture, and flea market and sidewalk finds except the watchmaking bench which was my father’s. It is solid oak and I use it to store tools. All the drawers are labeled.

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What’s one drawback of your studio/artistic space?
Aside from space, it’s below stairs so I can’t have an oxy acetylene torch for metal. For lampworking, I am tapped into my house gas and use an oxygen concentrator, so that works out well. If not for that, I could not do lampworking in the basement.

Do you have any studio mascots (pets, mannequin whatever)? Plumpton the Cat used to come down when he was a kitten, play fetch with beads, and warm up the clay by sitting on it. Now, he just comes down when he wants to be fed, or to use the litter box (hidden behind a protective wall).

Do you have an idea wall or inspiration board?
I keep notebooks and have a little inspiration board where I keep some of the color exercises I did in Lindly Haunani’s class. There is not much wall space, and what there is is covered with shelves to store materials.

Do you listen to music in your studio? What kind? Yes. Mostly Jazz or radio.
Do you display your own work in your studio? Some, because when people visit, they like to see what I do.
What’s one quirk or unusual feature of your studio? My washing machine doubles as an impromptu work surface, and is covered with paint. We call it the Jackson Pollack washing machine.

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What can’t you see in my studio? I realized when I took the pictures that the area is so small, it’s hard to get an overall picture of the work space. I also have ovens, kilns and an oxygen concentrator down there, and pull out storage under all the work surfaces.

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