Studio Blues: Lisa Liddy

10 09 2008

I would love to have the perfect studio…currently I share space with my other business (book design) and my 15-year-old daughter’s study area (hmmm…it is not heavily used so I may appropriate it back). In any event, it’s crowded. I forgot to mention two other “coworkers”: the Greyhound sprawled under my desk most mornings and the Maltese who gets into the most unlikely nooks and crannies.

Let’s back up. My office/studio is what would have been the third garage stall when we built our house 18 years ago. It’s long and has one big window at the front. Both sides are lined with either bookcases or computer equipment. And it’s a mess. Seriously. I work best with all my book design projects spread out (otherwise I forget about one or the other since I juggle a dozen or so any given week). Similarly, I work best on jewelry when I have many projects underway and supplies spread out.

A couple of years ago I did carve out space for my photo area and I have to say it is pretty cool. I can practically stage and shoot pics of jewelry and then edit them on the computer without leaving my chair. OK, so I have to leave my chair but it beats the heck out of running back and forth from the dining room to the office in less than ideal light.  So that’s a good thing. (In the interests of full disclosure…it looks nothing like picture that I grabbed from the archives…I missed it the first time I looked! Too uncluttered!)

And a  year or so ago, I inherited a very cool printer’s type file cabinet…8 drawers, each 6″ tall. (see below) Perfect for storing beading supplies! There’s the silver drawer, the lampwork drawer, the pearls drawer, mailing/packaging drawer…you get the picture. And one other worktop/drawer combo that has fallen prey to clutter and “stackage”.

So if you are keeping up visually, you are probably wondering how the heck I can do any jewelry work in a space like I described. The reality is I don’t anymore. I have a lovely bead rack to be able to view my favorite collectables and I have an area that I can fondle and gaze at newly acquired beads and supplies, but I actually leave this area now and move to the kitchen table to create. The light is better, the TV is out there, my daughter is usually out there, and I have room to spread out. Picture a  windowseat and a round table for 4, both half-covered with supplies. Three or four beading trays with various projects, findings, beads, tools, inspiration.

Where do we eat if I have taken over the kitchen table? At this stage of life, my husband is gone 5 or 6 days a week traveling on business, so meals are non-traditional at best. There’s room for my daughter and I to sit at the table and I can stack a bit to fit a third person. It used to bother my husband after a few weeks, but the reality is more jewelry gets made there than family meals so he’s gotten past it. We use the dining room if we have more people and on the occasions where we are entertaining, I stack everything carefully and use one of the cabinet drawers to do a mass “hide”. I have to see what I’m working with, or even what I’m not working with, because I might want to work with it. It works for now and lets me stay more central to my family.

Back to the perfect studio…if I could design that it would include:

1. Lots of natural light
2. Lots of space to spread out
3. Lots of storage opportunities
4. Lots of display area
5. Room for playmates
6. Someone to pick up after me and
    know exactly where I put the perfect bead or finding
7. Lots of time! (A girl can dream!)

Lisa Liddy



6 responses

11 09 2008

Can I be your bead pick up girl? 🙂

11 09 2008

I love this post, I so relate to needing to spread out. I’m intrigued by your light box. I’ve been contemplating either hiring a student photographer or getting a light box…Do you have to set your camera on any particular setting?

11 09 2008

Of course you can, Deanna. 🙂 You want that job instead of being my Tucson shopping conscience (oh wait, you didn’t really excel at that one did you! Thank goodness!).

Thanks Laura, I’m still looking for the camera (Emma must have it somewhere). I tried taking pics outside and the weather and lighting is just too rough for me so I got the light tent and lights. Suzy (Susan to most of you on here, but she’ll always be Suzy to me!) helped me figure out the camera settings on a cocktail napkin in a bar in KCMO…and then about a year later my DD saw fit to take my studio camera and mess with the settings so I am really not sure I ever got them quite back to where they were. Maybe we can get Suzy/Susan to do an entry on the perfect pictures…

11 09 2008

Rats…I meant to add I use the “A” setting, the two spotlights plus morning light from the window in my office/studio.

13 09 2008
Lori Anderson

I’m interested in your lighting for your photos — do you always have a light at the back and just one on the side?

15 09 2008
Best of the Fortnight ending 9/14/2008 | Art of the Firebird

[…] Liddy compares her current studio and her ideal studio at Collective […]

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