The blog Carnival is a group of metal artists belonging to EtsyMetal who blog on the same topic on the same date. For April 1st 2010, the topic is
"The Creative Process: How do you plan and organize for design?"
Here is a photo of my work bench as it is at this moment in time. It is situated in the middle of my kitchen, in the middle of my tiny house, in downtown Anaheim, CA. The photo was taken a few minutes ago after a tiny amount of tidying up. I like the location as I am frequently interrupted and it's nice to be able to enter and exit the "studio" without effort. As far as organization and planning for design, I have several steps. I sketch, and notate a lot. Laying a few materials I'm interested in working with helps too. I put a few things on a blank page in a sketch book and start brainstorming. Often those original materials are discarded for new ideas, but it's a starting point.
Organization helps with design too. If I find I'm stuck for a design idea, I will often start by cleaning up my work surface and organizing and re-arranging tools and materials. I won't get very far if I can't find what I'm looking for. Jewelry makers must have tons of compartments and tiny boxes and little bowls to keep every little component findable. We are notorious hoarders of stones and little bits, and I fit the profile neatly. Since I have limited space, its a constant battle to keep everything I need in a way that doesn't spill out everywhere. It's imperative to organize and label everything. When I buy a new material, the first thing I do is find a spot for it and label it with what it is, how much it was, where I got it, and the date, and it's dimensions. I have learned that if I skip this step, I have trouble later when I'm pricing a finished piece or trying to duplicate it.
Please visit the other EtsyMetal members blogging in this carnival: