I am not by nature a hoarder. Everything I own is something I need to have, and it's all very organized. Well, somewhat organized. I can usually find a thing quickly when I need it. Recently someone said to me, "Your studio must be packed with astounding things." It is, and here are some of them.
On the Shelves
First, some items which are out in the open. I collected those Dolls of the World at one time. I ripped off their tacky costumes their plastic shoes and ratty hair. Underneath, they are lovely androids, waiting for me to give them purpose. I think they look nice just as they are.
Various mediums, sealants, textures and grounds. All I have to do is swivel around in my chair and pick one. They're expensive, but they last a very long time. My most recent discovery is Yes! paste. We're working on our relationship.
Some of the larger balls of twine and string. There is also a vintage string drawer, in addition to a drawer for threads, string and cord of all types. There's just something about string that I cannot resist.
Miscellaneous artifacts. These are items that I'm certain will be essential to future projects. But if they sit there long enough, I will consider listing them on Etsy as supplies. I'm still inspired every day by everything I have. Nothing seems old to me, or like it was a bad purchase, ever.
A bin of electrical parts. I like taking gadgets apart. I've recently cleared a lot of things out, because I was never going to use some of the old housings, etc. Only the giblets, the tender inner bits, remain. These were never meant to be looked at, and that makes them worth seeing.
More sundries. I recently found the vintage flashlight at a thrift store for 50 cents. I'm thrilled when that happens. I love the old light fixtures, too. They are so sculptural. The plastic bag is full of plastic fingers that used to contain bubble blowing liquid. Now they're just cool.
In My Drawers
One of my charms drawers. This one contains mainly body parts - hands, feet, faces, etc. Some of them are milagros, or miraculous medals used for curing ailments. All of them are of high quality, because there's just no point in working with low-quality materials. This is one of about four charm drawers, which are not to be confused with embellishment drawers.
This drawer is just for rivets, eyelets, and the tools to apply them. When I'm in a creative frenzy I have to be able to find exactly what I want when I want it. So Unfrenzied Me prepares the way for Frenzied Me. These are organized by metal color, size, and type.
One of the "white and clear" bead drawers, of which there are three. Small white beads are so very useful. These all started life in vintage necklaces, which I carefully took apart. Doing this, I know very few if any people are going to have the same supplies. And it's fun.
One of my "focal components" drawers. My industrial aesthetic is evident here. On the left are bits of fossilized bone. At top are some vintage fraternal organization ribbons. And then there's an old rubber plug and a British knitting needle gauge. Something will come of this.
The blue bead drawer. Beads are classified by color now. I started out classifying them by material but that was obviously silly. Again, a lot of these came from vintage necklaces. But some are African trade beads, which are a fave of mine. Only a very few are new.
Another focal elements drawer. I have a thing for vintage Tootsie cars and Lesney, their British equivalent. They make great focal elements. Also bits of vintage jewelry, paper (in the wrong drawer!), vintage faucets and industrial elements. These drawers were not rearranged before photographing them, obviously.
Finally, a work in progress. Some things have to sit around and germinate for a while. I got some old radios a while back and I'm letting them sit and stew. Every now and then I rearrange them, put items inside them, and so on. One day something will click. At right is a light tower from a miniature railroad. This will be great.
So there you have it - some insight into what it takes to work in many mediums. I've never chosen between jewelry, collage, and assemblage. I love working with metal, and glue, and I simply must take things apart. When I go into my studio I rarely know what I'm going to be doing that day - cleaning up, starting a project, ending one, or just rearranging. I do know I'll have fun.