Daydreams of a future space

I’m a lover of spaces! Whether it is home or creative work spaces; dwellings are my thing!  So much so, sometimes, I believe I should have explored a career in interior design.

As you know, I moved out of my creative work space this past August and am currently setting up shop in my humble garage. (you can read more about that here).  And though a jewelry studio away from home may not be in the works for a while; I cannot help but dream a little, about what that space will look like and what it may offer me!

If the stars align in my favor, my future space will be open, bright and calming.  I imagine concrete floors and clean white walls. Maybe a wall or two of exposed brick that is painted white. Tall ceilings and large metal framed windows that face north.  There is a sink this time! Yes, and plenty of outlets.

Every now and then I allow myself to sit and daydream about the start of my day in that future space:

I imagine walking into the studio on a rainy day, with my [future] Grate Dane “Otis”.  Making myself some coffee (black) and turning on some music while Otis finds his way to his bed atop the cowhide rug that lays below the windows.  After I finally settle with The Knife station on Pandora, I begin my ritual of “awakening the studio”.  Turning on the pickle pots.  Then the torches at the soldering station. Uncovering tools and equipment. And warming up the laptop to later check open orders and answer emails.  I imagine I would light a few candles before I began to sweep the floors.  And as I turn to see Otis curled up in attempts to stay warm, the sound of the rain urges me to play around with some new ideas…

I do wish to share this future studio with 1 or 2 other jewelers or other creatives.  If it is to be a shared space, It will be one of openness, encouragement and kindness. I would love to host many creative workshops and gatherings.  The idea is to build a community and network of true, authentic friendships! Ah, I cannot wait for this to come to fruition!


*all photos via pinterest

Home Studio: The Final Coat…

There are times you must know when “done is done”; and today I’m telling myself that I am DONE painting part of the garage which is to be my home studio! 4 coats of white paint should be enough!…Right?  Yes, Yes, it is! At least for now, anyway!

With every push and pull of that paint roller, I noticed myself thinking: “oh…I should paint that too” or ” ah!..it’s just not white enough”! I could be here for weeks if I allowed it!

It is time that I move on to something else.  I’m thinking that “something else” is painting the cement floor!  Luckily, the previous owners of this lovely home of ours, have left 2 gallons of cement paint in (what I think to be) a pale periwinkle blue! I have yet the need to spend any money on paint and I am quite grateful for that! Could this be an omen?

 

 

 

Home Studio (in process)

In my last post I talked about my decision to move my studio out of  the old brick + mortar space that I rented and into my home garage. You can read more about that here

After getting some encouraging and reassuring responses from that post from friends and family, I figured it’d be a good idea to document the process.  And I’m excited to do this for a few reasons:

one:  I love to document and share what I’m doing; any excuse to take photos and write about an experience, I’ll do it!

two: Documenting my studio transformation will hold me accountable and remind me how far I’ve come; which I tend to forget sometimes and that can lead to me being hard on myself.

three:  Hopefully, doing this will encourage my boyfriend to go through his boxes and boxes and boxes of childhood things. ( I don’t do well with excess)

I actually started the demolition process of my jewelry studio a few weeks ago! I began by ripping out all the “janky” and “make-shift” shelving that the previous owner installed, vacuuming up all the termite poop! Eh…It was so much! Then started painting a small section of the back wall.


Today, my goal was to move some boxes out of the garage  (to give me space) and do a second coat of white paint on the small section that I started a few weeks ago.  With the boxes moved out I actually felt no anxiety (which I typically felt when I walked into our garage in the past), so that was wonderful!

With a boost of anxiety-free energy and a full cup of coffee, I went on ahead and painted more than just that “little section”.   I didn’t tape anything off.  Didn’t even cover the floor. I just started slapping white paint on the wall!  For someone whom appreciates details I have NO patience for painting. I’m unsure why.  By the way; the past owners left a giant bucket of white paint in the garage; so you bet that is what I’m using for this project!

Talk about saving money!

 

home studio remodel bless the theory 2

1 // before photo of the back wall and the small section that I started a few weeks ago

2 // a close up of the first couple of coats

3 // washing what seemed like 40 years of grime and dirt off the work bench

4 // a full shot of the first couple of coats.

Goal Complete!!

Even at this point I’m trilled with the results. This is going to make for some great Instagram photos! I still have much more to organize, clean and paint but at the moment, I’m feeling pretty good about the way the studio is moving along. I can already picture my bench pin right in front of that vintage stool!

The best way for me to stay focused (without feeling too overwhelmed) is to keep the big picture in mind and celebrating my little triumphs! Even if that’s just slapping around paint!

’till next time, thanks for reading

Charmaine

 

 

 

Bittersweet

If you ask most artists or makers what their ideal creative space would look like, they’d  probably say something like:

“… it would have lots of natural light, polished cement floors, large windows that over look the city, exposed brick walls and lots of room to spread out; right next to cool bars and restaurants”!

Well, I was fortunate enough to have such a space!

bless the theory studio lounge area

I shared it with two other studio mates for about a year.  Over time, various opportunities and priorities lead my mates to journey out of the studio.  And not long after, I found myself hit with a pleasant opportunity; my boyfriend and I finally found a beautiful 1920’s Spanish style house to call our own!

There was one dilemma; our beautiful old new home is literally on the opposite end of town!

At the time, I wasn’t quite ready to give up my space, so I commuted 18 minutes everyday to work in the studio.  But after a few months, it actually became daunting.  Now I know you’re thinking “its only 18 minutes”.   But, when I got the itch to get up and make, that 18 minute drive diminished that feeling.  Not to forget the time it takes to shower and dress good enough to be seen, pack lunch (which I usual forget to do) and pay for parking.  It didn’t take too long for my downtown dream jewelry studio to loose its luster.  So, on August 30th 2015, I moved Bless The Theory out of the cool brick and mortar building and relocated all my tools and contemporary wears across town to my garage.

Now, lets not cry over the departed studio, instead lets take a minute to look back on its glory!…

bless the theory studio under construction

The photo above was shot weeks before I even signed the lease! I remember begging the owners to leave it “as is” so that I could finish the rest. I was SO egger to have a industrial space, I didn’t want them to touch a thing! It did not take me long to get settled in. I love decorating, so I did quite a bit of re-arranging, especially after my former studio mates left and I had the space all to myself.

bless the theory studio work area

 

bless the theory studio work tools

It was unbelievable the amount of light that came into the studio! That lead to somewhat perfect product shooting days. (I say somewhat because, when do we ever have a “perfect” shooting day?)  The light just seemed to last forever…or at least until he sun dropped.  My electricity bill was always under $12!  There was also so much great texture.  I would find myself gazing at the walls on any given day!  Those cement and expose brick walls made their way to my Instgram often! (See for yourself here)

And the views! Oh the views! On a clear day I could see ALL the way to DTLA.  I could see Signal Hill and San Pedro! And most of all I could see beautiful Downtown Long Beach! The best view of DTLB was on a rainy day…

bless the theory jewelry stuido view down town long beach

I’ll be honest; It was hard to say goodbye to such a fantastic jewelry studio.  My second jewelry studio, in fact!  I must say that I made some decent progress with Bless The Theory in that space! And I finally had a chance to host a fun Holiday Party/Sale with my former studio mates (that turned out way better that we could’ve wished for)! Which was something I’d been wanting to do for a while!

Yes, it was a great atelier… and I will miss it dearly!  But, I know deep in my core that I will find another creative cave to call my own when the time is right.  I know exactly what I need and what type of environment I want to create in.  And I know that I want to be in it for a long while.  So for now, I shale make the best of my humble, one window, garage and allow it to teach me patience and resourcefulness.

 

I do not look at this as a loss or a step a back (maybe a little of a step back).  Instead, I’m CHOOSING to see it as: letting go of past opportunities in order to receive new and greater possibilities!  And I CAN and WILL wait for that perfect space to come to me!

 

Thanks for reading

Char