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organization of studio or be careful what you ask for!

updated mon 13 jun 05


Gretchen Morton on sat 11 jun 05

Hi All
Just recently a clay art gal talked about colapsing plastic shelves. I was feeling for her and the mess she had to clean up. I was also thinking about the work that I had to do to get back to doing things in the kiln and glaze mixing area (aka garage under house). I have a table full of bisque but no glazes that I love. My prayers were to organize the bags and bags of glaze making ingredients so that I could get started on some serious testing. It seems every time I start, something else happens (its called life) to make it hard for me to continue.
Yesterday, I went into this area. Low and behold shelves along a 7 foot stretch of a concrete block wall gave out. The shelves I was using was originally decorative wooden shelves that you put together with large wood turned spacers. The shelves themself were hollowed.
To get back to the point. I need to get new shelving. Does anyone have any suggestions for something sturdy and not to complicated to put in this space. Also what would you consider the best containers to keep the glaze materials in. You have probably discussed this in length at some time, but since this just happened yesterday and I am busy cleaning up. I would appreciate some ideas on this.
The amount of one or two of the ingredients is about 50 lbs, and the rest is mostly under 25 lbs so I don't think I need huge bins.
I appriciate any thoughts you all have on this subject. I believe this is a wonderful, diverse, knowledgable group of artists with unbelievable talent. Thank you all for your generosity in advance.
Gretchen Morton--In Soupy New York City suburbs.

Snail Scott on sun 12 jun 05

At 02:56 PM 6/11/2005 GMT, you wrote:
...I need to get new shelving. Does anyone have any suggestions for
something sturdy and not to complicated to put in this space...

I have liked the sturdy plastic shelves they sell at
hardware stores - usually about 3 feet wide and in
varying choices of depths: 12", 18", 24". The very
deep ones are good for some things, but for glaze
materials, that means a lot of things end up behind
other things. The main advantage of these is that
the shelves are slatted, with almost no surface area
to trap dust. It just falls right through to the floor -
no dusting. Their main drawback is that the vertical
space between shelves is fixed, and it too tall for most
glaze-material stacking. Most designs have plain
uprights that could be cut down shorter with a wood saw,
though, and allow for multiple units to be combined to
get more than the standard five shelves per unit. These
won't hold huge weights, so I keep the bulk materials
on the floor in buckets, but they'll do for smaller
amounts. Keep the heaviest containers near the posts,
and lighter things in the middle if you're 'pushing the
limit'. They are fairly rigid, though. These units
often go on sale, so it's worth waiting.

Block-and-board shelves are also low-budget and adaptable
in height and width, though without the handy perforated
shelving. For stability, shim your blocks slightly so
that the shelving leans back against the wall rather than
standing free.

My other preferred shelving is the kind using 'L'
brackets that screw to the wall, allowing a plank to be
laid across them. They're fast, easy and cheap, and
super- portable if you have to move, but these work
best on stud walls, so they won't be so good for you.


marianne kuiper milks on sun 12 jun 05

Hi Gretchen,

I am so sorry to hear what happened. The upside: you
get to clean and organize and make all this new stuff!
For shelving I have two suggestions. There is an IKEA
not too far away. I(Either long Island or Elisabeth
NJ). If you look in their "as is" section you can
often find good stuff. I like the metal framed, wood
shelviings. my husband's very heavy medical charts
have been on them. Works great.
I cannot afford those, so I bought various width and
length boards from a lumber company. Get damaged ones:
you can turn them up-side down and backward. Paint
them with a quick layer left-overs (or ask for
"oopsies" at a paint store, often a buck or two) for
easy clean-off.
Get cinderblocks (reusable for many projects), they
run from 90c to $1.70, I just priced them last week,
and support the shelve at all points you feel they
need it. mine is stacked to right above my head (I'm
5'4) and we've used others for various heavy things
since 1971. Mostly for books. Also easy to add to and
change around.
For storage: I found "lock'n lock" bins at a grocery
store. The 5 gal ones hold the larger amounts, the
largest came in their own containers. For small amt
you can buy gallon/ half gallon mason jars - new at
stores, used at auctions and yard sales). They close
well, easy to mark with tape or marker and you can see
through it. (At it, anyway) Make sure the inner cricle
is still good.
Hope this helped for some thoughts. Good luck and I'm
so sorry to hear about your missfortune.
Marianne The sun always shines somewhere!

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