Calligraphy: A Scribe's Notes Art Blog
A few years ago I built out part of my attic to serve as a studio space, thereby freeing my living room to be just that. In the process I learned a few things which you may find helpful. The studio is on the third floor, good exercise, not so good for hauling stuff, which I do all the time. It's the attic so the ceilings are pitched, good for me, I'm only 5 foot, not so good for tall people. Very easy to heat in winter, warm air rises, but expensive to cool in the summer. It takes two air conditioners to keep it comfortable and dry, humidity being a big issue with paper. I like things to serve double duty whenever possible, giving me twice as much use out of a small space. My camera put ten pounds on my studio, it looks a lot bigger here than it really is. The floor plan is approximately 11 feet by 33 feet. An architects maple table top 48 × 72 serves as a main workspace, set 36 inches from the floor for standing comfort. Stools fit underneath. Fabulous. I went with fixed skylights because I didn't want to risk leaks directly over my workspace. Good and not so good. Great light, but has a tendency to hold heat, vicious in summer.
Table paper cutter, 34 inches from the floor, can be slid under the main workspace or kept out for additional workspace. I kept the original pine wood floor, I didn't care what happened to it anyway, it's the attic. Good, I can make a mess, not so good, big gaps in the floor allow things to fall in and disappear. Vertical shelving base supports a Formica secondary work surface. Flat files were built into the wall saving TONS of space. Brilliant!
I work in mixed media, meaning basically... everything. Since I didn't have the time or money to build in cabinets I bought plastic carts in different drawer configurations and lined them up against one wall. If I am using materials from one or two in particular I can roll them out closer to where I'm working.
My number one favorite storage unit is a step up from the plastic ones, it's from www.bestcraftorganizer.com. This unit is sturdy, portable, customizable and I LOVE the shallow drawers. They are perfect for all the small calligraphy supplies I need to have at hand. I just bought another one with different drawer sizes.
I grabbed a slightly damaged paper storage rack from a craft store that was throwing it away. (not shown) Good for papers that are used all the time, easy to see, but they are exposed to light and can fade and get dusty. The 1950's kitchen table (also not shown) I use for the sewing machine is a new addition I had to have. Not all that practical, but cool.
My old drawing table is hydraulically adjustable in height and tilt. I can work flat or completely vertical. Very Good. The refrigerator is a luxury item but I have convinced myself I need it to store glair (and water and snacks and wine).
When you have space you tend to fill it so I have to constantly weed out materials I don't need or don't use anymore. Painful but necessary. Anything still usable goes to the public school art teachers who are my neighbors. I sometimes wish I had a vacuous studio space with big windows and high ceilings, but then I'd just have to clean it. I'm happy with my cozy studio under the eaves. If you have storage solutions or space saving suggestions please share them.