Bench Soldering within the Store


I have a question for those of you who have stores and do your
benchwork, soldering, etc.

in some area of that store. I am moving my bench, etc. into a new
store area and I am not sure how to section it off or keep it
private. I still want to see the customers, but I do not want them
to have access to the area.

Can others tell me how you arranged your areas? B4 this my store and
studio were separate. I do not want to put up a wall to section this
part off because I want to see the customers and for them to know
that the work is done on the premises. The store consists of cases of
my finished jewelry and other art.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

Couldn’t you use a half wall with the top half glass or plexiglass?
That way the area could be secured (locked) and while in use, you
could still see the customers. Maybe use a rear corner, and set up
the cash register nearby.


I have my bench right out in the shop itself. It has large plate
glass on 3 sides of my bench and the glass is about 30" high with the
corners facing me rounded. A local glassmaker set it up for me back
in 1990. All he used was a silicone sealant to hold the 3 pieces
together. The glass sits snug right next to the lip and we placed
quarter round wood trim along the inside. I also put on a sign across
the top: “Please do not disturb! The piece I’m working on might be
for YOU!” That promptly went up after some guy started to bang on
the glass for me to move my hand so that he could see me soldering
(and melt the head I was putting a new prong on). I never had any
problems since.

Judy Shaw


I saw that someone else has already suggested the half wall, half
glass ide a - - that’s what I was thinking of.

But I would like to ask you and others - - you are doing what I hope
to do someday - - have a studio/store where I can work & sell my own
things, and also other kinds of arts/crafts as well. My question
is: how do you get s tarted doing something like that? I am brand
new to jewelry making and hav en’t even sold anything yet - but this
is my dream. I completed a 6 month comprehensive training program
in August and I’ve been working on my own to practice my skills but
I’m not sure what next steps to take.

Thank you, all, for this wonderful Orchid Forum!



I first started making jewelry while living in Spain. At the time I
was designing and making furniture. I met, and was encouraged by a
retired American jeweler who was also living there. I was sharing a
store/studio with a friend who was a leather crafter. I started
making very simple things to sell to the tourists who frequented the
Costa del Sol. I learned as I produced more designs. Soon I had to
hire and teach others to keep up with the production. All along this
path I was teaching myself. A few years later I moved back to the
USA and rented retail space and opened a craft gallery and studio. I
winged it, never had a business plan or business loans. It wasn’t
easy but I operated that business for 22 years before closing it and
moving my studio to my home where I see clients by appointment and
also maintain a web site which has become productive.

I am not suggesting that you try a similar route. On the contrary, I
would suggest that you get some experience working for someone else
for a couple of years. During that time develop designs for future
use, learn as much as you can about the “business” and start doing
craft shows to expose your ideas to the public and do get feedback.
I think that it is much harder today to start your own business than
when I started. You do need a business plan, financing, etc.
Continue to take classes and workshops whenever you can. I encourage
you to pursue your dream.

Joel Schwalb