March 30, 2011

featuring studio spaces: barbara lewis of painting with fire artwear

It's time for Featuring Studio Spaces! Each week we will feature an artist and his or her creative space. We'll gather lots of juicy tidbits ranging from inspiration to design and functionality.

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone

Today we're thrilled to talk with torch and bead lady extraordinaire, Barbara Lewis of Painting with Fire Artwear. At the end of the interview be sure to visit Barbara's website and blog.

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Tell us a little bit about what you do in the studio.

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone

Painting with Fire Artwear functions as a bead making studio; a supply store for Thompson Enamels, enameling equipment, and other fun stuff; and a jewelry-making studio for me.


Did you have a specific inspiration when organizing your space?

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ enamel weighing and labeling ]

I need to effectively use as many square feet in the studio as possible. I love to look through the pages of “Where Women Create” and am more than a little envious of most of the studios that grace their pages, but PWF has a more utilitarian look … for better or worse. My goal is, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”


Name one or more things that especially work for you.

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ studio enamels ]

What really works for us is to have different work stations dedicated to specific functions … like a place to weigh, label and store enamel; a shipping area; places to create torch-fired enamel beads; a soldering area; a place for metalworking; a place for wet work (working with patinas and liquid enamels); and another place for beading.

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ finished beads ]


What’s your biggest issue with storage/organization/design?

I would love to have a display area so that we could invite customers to our studio, but it’s not who we are … right now. When I’m in Maryland, I live in the country and the customers would be few and far between. When I’m in St. Petersburg, I live in the city but don’t have nearly the room that I do in Maryland. Woe is me!


Level of important: design aesthetic or functionality?

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ hydraulic press, rolling mill, polisher ]

We are definitely about functionality!


Is there something that you’re constantly having to work on overcoming and what have you done/do you do to rectify this situation?

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ beading area ]

The thing I’m constantly having to overcome is me! I have a terrible case of ADD when I get into the studio. I start a project, then I see something over there that looks enticing, then something else catches my eye over there … before long I have stuff out all over the place. Someone, please put me in a straightjacket!

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ soldering area ]


Do you use/prefer/need artificial or natural light?

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ packaging & shipping area ]

I love natural light that is assisted by task lighting.

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ weighing & postage area ]


Interesting tidbits about your studio.

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ torch firing area ]

Our primary torch-firing station has an outstanding ventilation hood, plus the triple tub sink is a holdover from my pottery days. Several stainless steel tables were practically given to me and are sturdy and easy to clean.

featuring studio spaces: Painting with Fire Artwear Studio Waterstone
[ wet work area ]


How has having your own creative space affected your work?

Our studio is housed in a detached over-sized garage. The size of the space, about 650 sq. ft., has allowed for diversification and helpers in the studio. Last year we splurged and got air conditioning. Wow … did that make a difference in our outlook and cordiality!

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Thank you Barbara!
Be sure to visit Barbara's website, Painting with Fire Artwear and prepare to fall in love.

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Interested in having your studio featured in Featuring Studio Spaces?
Just click the little contact button in the upper right column and we'll set it up!

11 comments:

  1. Oh wow, I am loving Barbara's studio! The functionality makes me inexplicably happy just seeing all the different workstations, shelves and organizing units (the cafeteria tray stations ROCK for holding finished beads!!!).

    I tell myself if I had that kind of space, I would be able to keep my workstations much neater. That's what I tell myself :)

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  2. Wow what a Workshop!! Gee in my Lampworking I need a Kings Randsom workspace like that. I would love to get into ennameling, and might try to sneak some of her supplies into my tool belt soon! Thank you for this on Barbara great post :-)

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  3. Great studio! Love that white wire rack and the bread rack on casters, I like things that can move around when necessary...looks very functional and bright!

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  4. Amazing work and studio! Wow, she really needs a lot of space. The wall-mounted shelves are great!

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  5. What an awesome interview and she is an amazing artist to be sure!

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  6. Thanks, Lori, for featuring my studio ... and for everyone who had such positive things to say! I'm blushing! And, I want you all to know that it ALWAYS looks like this! Not!

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  7. Because I admire your work so much, I've awarded you on my blog! Come and pay me a visit to see it! Thank you very much! I will be truly honored by your visit! >:D<
    Diana from Happy Quilling

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  8. Barbara's workshop is absolutely to die for! Everything has its place and so many different work stations - awesome! I would love to work her studio!

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  9. It amazes me, how much equipment and expense needed for enamel and bead work!! It brings a new appreciation for the finished product. Beautiful studio! I like the common thread with almost all of the artists: the ADD symptom most of us have of starting multiple projects!! That is why having a door to close is so important to productivity!! Loving this feature, Lori!

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  10. Oh I see soooo much organization it's fantastic!!! I am absolutely DYING for some of these enamels. They make me drool.

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  11. Oh wow -it's a dream - thank you so much for sharing this space - it is awesome I tell ya!!!

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I love reading each one of your comments. Thanks for your visit and have a wonderful day.

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