Studio work table

The last table for my studio was finished this week. It can be wheeled back and forth between the glaze room and the throwing room depending on what I’m working on. I designed it with a fairly large overhang so it’s comfortable to work at. I hate sitting at studio tables when you can’t really sit at it with your legs under the table. Storage is good, but not at the expense of a comfortable working space.

The top of the table is covered in canvas. If you’ve never stretched canvas before, here’s a little tutorial on how to do it.  It’s something that I learned how to do from my dad, who is a painter. It’s basically the same process of stretching a canvas for painting, but on a solid surface, like plywood. If it’s not stretched right, it will be really annoying to work on. One thing that I do that’s a little different from the paint canvas technique is I wet the canvas down with a sponge. It makes it a little easier to stretch and you’ll end up with a tighter fit. I usually buy my canvas at an art supply store, but during one of the discussions on Facebook, someone suggested getting a canvas drop cloth from the painting department at Home Depot. It has a coarser texture, but a good price if the size works for you. It’s an interesting idea.

pottery-studio-table

When I was shopping around for really good locking casters for the table, Kristin Kieffer suggested that I get casters from Caster City. So I ordered up 4 for the table and they’re great! When you’re shopping around for casters for a table like this, make sure you get dual locking casters. It’s really solid enough that you can wedge on it.

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You might have seen my post last week about my built in trimming splash pan. I asked for photos or links to other DIY splash pans and Ben Stark shared a post with me that he had written a while back. So here’s another splash pan idea, courtesy of Ben Stark Pottery:

ben-stark

Make sure you look at the original post. The way he designed it to be removable and slide on and off the wheel is pretty genius! If you have any projects that you’ve done at your studio, send me photos or links! I love this stuff! Just send an email to: emily (at) emilymurphy.com or post a comment on any blog post and I’ll see it. Thanks for sharing Ben!

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The next project that I’m working on (and will be blogging about shortly) is a new photo taking set-up. I’m really excited about it- and excited to share it. In the age of digital cameras and Etsy, it’s something that we all want to have. I’ve been designing my set up for years, but never had a good place to actually build it. When I took an informal poll f potters about what they wished they had in their studio that they didn’t have, a photo taking set-up was top on the list. Part of the light diffuser that I built is made out of PVC. Last week Miri, over at Nick and Miri’s PR Prattle had some fun ideas about PVC including this get dolly for kiln shelves (photo below). The Rincon Facebook Fan Page had some more ideas too. I love the description of PVC being tinker toys for adults.  ha!

kiln-shelf-storage1

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A couple of weeks ago, I was catching up with some shows on Tivo, and something caught my eye. It looked like the character, Angela, on the show Bones, was wearing one of my pendants. I have no idea if it really is, but when I look at it, my reaction is: Hey! That’s one of mine!  It’s a simple design that is not unusual, but the coloration and the knotting of it makes me feel like there is no question. If it is, it’s one of the larger sizes, stoneware with tile 6 slip, a very light spray of a copper glaze around the center. Anyway, it’s fun to think that one of my pieces ended up on a show that I love. A few years back I had some large bottles and platters in the show “Dream Home” on HGTV. A producer borrowed some pieces for the season finale. I wish I had some screen shots from that show!

After I finish my photo set-up, I’ll have some more pendants up on Etsy in the next couple of weeks. My shop’s been empty for a long time. Time to dust it off!

angela-bones

13 thoughts on “Studio work table

  1. My you’ve been busy AND you made it to IKEA too??? Your set up is looking amazing! I love how organized (and in clear sight) everything is!

    Thanks for the shout out. We found yet another (non pottery) use for PVC today…Nick decided to create a “nature trail” down through the bottom of our property (AKA the JUNGLE!) and he used PVC as trail markers Eventually we’ll use up all our PVC… :-)

  2. Hi,
    We put everything we can on wheels.
    We have two tables on wheels and they are so useful to move from room to room.
    We also put water buckets on wheels and glazes.

    I would have to look back, but somewhere I have a post on building a mudbox for our wheels- or rebuilding, since this after the fire.
    Your space is beautiful, you must not have to share it!

  3. IF you are going to do alot of canvas stretching, consider buying canvas stretching pliers, which are $14 – $30 at art supply like Blick. They have wide jaws to really grab the canvas, and a rectangular metal bar that you use as a fulcrum; you pivot the pliers using the bar on your board, table, or frame edge, and it pulls the canvas TIGHT! Then staple, and go back and hammer the staples flush. Man, dat canvas gonna be tight!

  4. Hello,

    Your new studio looks great. I just wanted to ask if you have the glazing area separated properly and vented. The mixing dust will linger and cause a health concern for you or others for a long time after mixing and over time can be dangerious. Some of this stuff is very toxic.

    Don’t mean to preach but be careful of your health- time will pass and little issues today can become huge issues later :-)

    Evey looks great though, rock on!

    1. This is my first use of threaded comments- something that I’m really excited about! Replies in order!

      This is something that I’m really concerned and aware of and I’m glad you brought it up. I have 2 distinct areas of my studio: a “clean studio” and “dirty studio.” They are separate and sealed off from one another. Both spaces are sealed off from the rest of the basement. The clean studio room acts as a buffer to the rest of the basement. Every opening is sealed and caulked. Doors have sweeps under them to seal things off even more. Shoes, aprons, etc… don’t get worn outside the space. I try to be conscientious these things.

      I will be building a spray booth in the near future and will be using that as a place to mix glazes & slips with direct ventilation. For now, I have enough glazes and slips mixed up, so I don’t need to do any mixing until it’s built. I also have an hepa air filter/ purifier. I don’t mix my own clay, because I don’t want to deal with the mess.

      The more passive things that I do: everything is stored in sealed bins- the bins can be washed down, but it would be hard to keep the individual items clean if they were out in the open. All cleaning is wet cleaning. And of course I am a constant mask wearer. After 10 years in a shared space where I had no control over what was going on in the other parts of the studio, I am happy to be in control of my surroundings. I am a bit of a studio neat freak. It’s not perfect, but I’m constantly looking for ways to improve it.

  5. OK, so I have a basic question…….what are the heights of your bench and your work table? I am just starting to set up a small work area in my garage. I really like your table on casters…..

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