Category Archives: Studio Series

Studio Series – Brass Press Tools

table top press tools

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Studio Series – Movable Compartments are Your Friend…

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leather wire working tool box bin

Studio Series – I love Smooth N Tuff bead release…

Can you tell what this jumbled mess is? It’s about a million little beads on mandrels. I couldn’t get a clear picture of them all spread out so I did it this way. There are only 49 mandrels but a total of 87 beads. While it’s not an impressive display of 87 highly decorated beads, it’s still 87 beads that I’m going to have to clean.

glass spacer beads on mandrels lori greenburg

My wrists are thanking the heavens for the new Smooth N Tuff bead release by Foster Fire. These babies will just slip right off. This is my favorite bead release to date and will stay that way probably until someone comes up with a bead release that just washes away in water…no cleaning required…which this one almost does. Get on it Robin!

Ok, back to orders.

Studio Series – Beaded curtain…

…kind of. Here, in my particularly packed-with-lotsa-colorful-stuff-for-making-beads work station you see something hanging from my ventilation hood from bent open paper clips. It looks like a glorious wad of hanging color. If you look more closely toward the back you can see a string of Fran Lizardi’s beads hanging there too…they’re so cool! Anyway, what are those things and why are they there?

bead curtain, kind of.  glass beads

I’m glad you asked. No, they’re not the start of a beaded curtain. They’re long hat pins that I put beads on and then clamped with a bead stoppers and then hung them up. They are usually beads that I made the day or days before and I need them nearby for reference so I can see what I want to do again and what didn’t work. Check out the close-up:

You might recognize some of your beads on there and lots of them that have not seen light outside the studio. The thing is, even if I don’t think they’re appealing enough to sell, like I said before, a lot of anything looks good so I’m starting my beaded curtain. Luckily my hoods are strong and sturdy and can hold a lot of weight!

Studio Series – Under counter workspace…

under counter storage solutionOnce in a while I look at my studio a little differently and remember all of the thought that went into planning it from the ground up. It’s not that big of a space (compared to others I’ve seen) so I tried to optimize every bit I could. I probably would have done that if I had 900 sq. ft. as compared to 120 or so.

Anyway, I planned to have cabinets that served to hold up the countertops but I also wanted multiple work stations…two for torching, one for computer work and one for beading. That means open leg space so a chair or stool can be use comfortably. In this picture you see the ‘beading and jewelry-making’ station. As you can see, the counter is a mess and there’s not much beading or jewelry making going on.

So, what is so significant about this that I want to write about it? Well, do you see that little wooden cart next to the stool? Not only does it have shelves for more ‘stuff’ that is easily accessible because it’s open but it is on wheels and pulls out. That means about 3 more square feet of temporary working space.

temporary work space under counter

I also did this near my torch but under the counter I put a rolling craftsman tool chest. Now, that was a great idea for the same reason…I could pull it out and use the flat surface if I need it. Unfortunately the wheels only rolled in one direction and it was not the direction I needed. So, in that instance I just pull out the top drawer and it works as a shelf to hold tools that I use frequently when I’m torching. Let me know if you need a picture of that…I can whip one out.

Studio Series – Etching Tips…

Etching glass beads on skewersI’ve never been one to etch beads, for one, because I never really liked how they turned out for me and two, it’s just a pain in the butt.  It usually comes in a jar that big beads never fit through the opening so you’d have to pour it into another container and put your beads onto some type of string and make sure they were separated with a little bead so there weren’t shiny spots.  Blah blah blah.  Maybe there was an easier way but I just never thought of it.  Until now.  And I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner.

Last year I purchased some AWESOME etching crystals from Arrow Springs to which you add hot water to dissolve it the first time (and heat up after that until they stay dissolved).  They came in this nice, wide-mouthed container.  Genius-me was using dental floss to string up my beads and hang them in there which is great but messy when you pull them out and they’re dripping all over.  So then I tried creating a little strainer out of a plastic cup by punching holes in the bottom.  That was messy too.  Then, one day when I was preparing some beads for etching this hit me.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner or why someone out there isn’t showing how clever they are by doing this.

I love how big transparent layered dots look and I couldn’t bring myself to etch them so I did the paint-on-the-white-glue trick.  Just like it sounds, you paint on white craft glue with a paint brush and use it as a resist…all the glued spots don’t get etched while in the solution…unless you forget your beads for hours and the glue dissolves.  One way to apply the glue is to ‘paint’ one side of the bead and put it down and let it dry, then do the other side.  That could take forever and I wanted instant gratification so I jammed my beads on to skewers.  Why jam them?  So they don’t move around when you’re trying to paint those little dots!

Etching glass lampwork beadsWell then it hit me.  Duh!  Why not just put the beads, still on the skewers, right into the solution?  You can mix them around to make sure they’re getting coated evenly and just pull them out when you’re done.  No more fishing around with tweezers to try and find them or fishing out the string of beads (although I might still have to do this way for many small beads) and no more transferring of containers.

I know it’s not genius.  But I feel so smart today.  I love it when I finally figure something out that makes my life easier.

Studio Series – Workspace Clean-up

I know you all love to see artist workspaces.  Well, I do anyway.  I blogged about my workspace about a month ago when it was a mess.  I don’t know if you can tell but, it’s gotten worse. 

Lori Greenberg Messy Workspace

The pile of stringers has gotten deeper.  It’s so messy with so much going on I can’t even get a clear picture of it because the camera can’t decide what to focus on.  Check it out:
Lori Greenberg Messy desk close up
The good news is, I’ve cleaned it.  Gasp.  It really didn’t take that long. Don’t pay attention to the time on the clock…it didn’t really take me that long.  After I cleaned it I just couldn’t wait to sit down and start working so it’s a little used here but not much:

Lori Greenberg clean workspace

Now, isn’t that much better?  How did I let it get so messy?  Well, I just couldn’t stand to get rid of stringer ends so I’d just lay them on the tabletop.  I used to throw the teeny shorts into a jar and then just pitch the jar and leave the longer ones on the workspace to grab and use at will.  I’m going back to that method because it got so overwhelming that I just brushed the contents of the pictures above right into a trash bag.  Anyway…I feel so clean and I bet you feel so much better for me too.