Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Shop or studio

Is your workspace a shop or a studio? I’m curious what people call

I have a great friend who is a maker of jewelry, as I am, we each
spend each day making things in our respective work spaces. When we
talk, I will often refer to my shop, he will always jokingly correct
me and say, “you mean your studio.” We will go back and forth about
which fits better, but can’t really work it out. He says that it
just sounds better to refer to it as a studio because it conjures up
images of great artists toiling away, doing meaningful work in their
art studios. While calling it a shop makes you think of the place
you get your car fixed. I think, it’s a workshop. shop for short.

I think that in our case I call it a shop because I came up through
the trade-shop-like system, where he got his art degree from the
university and then began working as a goldsmith. In my world we
called it a shop, in his they called it a studio. I think I do agree
that studio sounds better, more artsy, but I just can’t shake the
word shop! Mark


I have been in the exact same predicament. I am a blacksmith, but I
went to school and got my BFA with a concentration in Sculpture.
After college when I was running my own business/workspace full
time, I found myself torn. I had come up through school referring to
it as a studio, which I suppose is the more accurate and technical
term. But when I was Blacksmithing full time I found that referring
to my shop as a studio just caused a lot of confusion. Studio?
Recording Studio? Yoga Studio? Studio 54? I got tired of explaining
it only to have people say “Oh, you mean a shop.” Sure. Right or
wrong, I’m a shop guy now.

Tyler Palsrok

I rather agree with your friend. studio sounds greatly better! It
involves imagination, brain and creativity insight, wheter "shop"
sounds like a quite exclusively commercial place.

it’s just an opinion, anyway!

Mark- We call ours both. Doesn’t much matter to me. Sometimes I call
it the gold or diamond mine. At Xmas I call it Santa’s workshop. In
Feb. it’s Cupid’s workshop.

The one term I do get kinda fussy about is that it’s called a BENCH
not a DESK.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

I forced myself to call my new workshop a “studio”, because people
thought that “shop”, which I was inclined to call it, meant that it
was a retail store. Many, many customers have asked me if I had a
"shop" and what they meant was a store, which they could drop into
for shopping at their convenience. I do not have that, though I do
allow studio visits from past customers or those contracting for a
commissioned order. But I warn them that I do not have jewelry
waiting to be seen in showcases. Studio is a fine word, and does not
get them so excited to drop in and browse, since there is no jewelry
waiting for viewing. Studio visits here are by appointment.

Do not be afraid that the word studio is too artsy or anything like
that. It means the space where an artist or craftsperson/artisan
works to create their art or product. My UPS guy thought that
"studio" sounded odd (stuck up, I guess), but that didn’t deter me.
And I eventually got used to it, even though my family history led me
to prefer “shop” originally.

  • M’lou

This will be an interesting thread.

I work in my studio, but if I had a store front, I would sell from
my shop. People do come to my studio to buy, but it’s the place I
create and it’s main purpose is creating. Normally I sell through
"markets" and galleries.

Dick Stromberg

I call mine The Pit. It’s where everything goes that can’t find a
home elsewhere in the house, with a little space marked out for my,
ahem, Studio.

I think though, if I had a store or it was located anywhere but
inside my house, I’d call it my shop. Just doesn’t feel right when
it’s 10 feet from my bedroom. LOL

Michele, in Coconut Creek where the Panthers are doing their best to
lose this year.

We use them interchangeably at my shop. The “shop” includes the
workshop and the retail space. Sometimes we call the workshop a
studio, especially because we are involved in an annual "Studio Tour"
which is a cooperative marketing effort with over 40 other studios.

Here is my advice. Choose what you call yourself based on what you
think will be the best outreach to your customers. Too many creative
people get all hung up on their “artist” credentials and foolishly
worry more about what other artists think of them than how they
appeal to the people who actually buy their work. If the paying
audience for your kind of work likes the term “studio” then that is
fine. If they find it pretentious, then avoid it. It will depend a
lot on the values of the community you are selling to. Sometimes
presenting yourself as a vain, elitist primadonna can actually work,
but I certainly don’t recommend it. You do want to convey the fact
that you are the hands-on creator of the stuff you sell, so I would
suggest “workshop” rather than simply “shop"because"shop” can also
also mean simply a retail store.

Steve Walker

Hello Mark,

My work space is called a dungeon, if I’m being funny/literal.
However, I refer to myself as a studio jeweler.

Judy in Kansas, where the snow shovels are getting a real workout!!!

Well Jo, my bench is a desk. it is an old 9 drawer desk that I
picked up at the Goodwill. I covered the top with linoleum tiles and
over that, on the place that I do my soldering, I have some
fireproof material—like stone, only made I was told. of pressed
asbestos. It is the same matetrial that is the outside of my Vcella
kiln has. Hard, and looks like slate.

So, now, I suppose what I have is a desk which has been morphed into
a bench. Alma

First off, I love this question! For me it really made me think more
about what I feel it is than for what others perceive it as.

I call it a studio, a place that I’m doing what I live first. Where
I use mycreativity and skills to make beautiful things. I happen to
sell those things to make a living.

Shop makes me feel like it’s a store. There primarily for monetary
reasons. I’d hate to for my studio to ever transform into a shop!

Carin Jones

In French, workshop/studio can be attelier.

Barbara who stared down a coyote that was between the car and her
this evening. Coyote 0 Barbara 1. And I went to the meeting, a little

My storefront is my shop. My workshop is inside my shop. My
workbench is inside my workshop. Linda Minor

My terminology varies for the same space, if I am actually in the
"making" of something, then it is a shop. If I am designing,
thinking, or meeting with a customer, then it is a studio. In general
the “shop” has the tools, and the studio has the chairs/tables.


I don’t call mine anything, it must be deaf, it doesn’t come anyway
:smiley: CIA (Proudly providing Dad jokes for the past 15 years)

Im fairly sure that I use the two all the time…

I think with other artists I use shop and with customers I use

Although my significant other seems to think I say studio, and
unfortunately he is usually right:)


I use the term studio or atellier. I think those that have training
through universities, apprenticeships, craft schools, etc. and that
consider themselves artists, or artisans, or art jewellers tend to
use the term studio more frequently than shop. The only people I know
that use the term shop are metal workers and not jewellery makers.
Part of the use of the two terms has to do with how one wants to be
perceived by the clients they deal with if making jewellery is their
livelihood: Someone who teaches students or consults and sells
directly from their work space tends to use the term “studio” far
more frequently than "shop"Those who work alone doing metal work in
addition to jewellery making and dealing with males more frequently
tend to use the term “shop”- so it is gender influenced! Sad to say
but it is so. It has to do with how the individual wishes to be
perceived by clients or visitors to their space, and the genders of
the majority of that group. The only people I know involved in
metalwork of both an artistic and practical nature and use the term
shop are blacksmiths- both males and females. I’m afraid it does
largely boil down to gender and social norms that are constrictive
and dated and to some degree location as some cultures reinforce the
division of male and female roles more overtly than others. For
instance I lived in a very small town in North Carolina for many
years. The men in the area that were jewellers called themselves
metalsmiths and had shops the majority of their custom work was
masonic jewellery and reproduction work for civil war re-enactors,
with the odd repair job even though the place was in the middle of
the southern highlands crafts triangle! Anyone else was an “art
jeweller” or jeweller and had studios. If a male in that location
used the term “jeweller” and had a studio they were considered either
connected to one of the craft schools in the area or presumed gay.
it’s just the way the local people perceived artisans /craftspeople.
The lapidaries had shops because they had large pieces of equipment
and were mostly males. And though a few women were lapidaries and
jewelers they had studios. One place but i’m afraid rings true to N.
American culture in a sweeping generalisation. Sure in some cities
males have studios and are definitely not gay men, but the examples I
am thinking of are gay friendly cities! For instance, Thomas Mann in
New Orleans has a business called Studio IO, his walk-in clientele
is 90% female. Mignon Faget has studios in malls and in various
shopping areas of town, she is a commercial jeweller doing production
casting and beading and because of her social connections gets a huge
chunk of her commissioned work from the “upper classes” involved in
old line Carnival Krewes (krewes that have existed for over 150
years).The independents have studios and the retailers have stores
and for the most part contract work to various studios. Being a
cosmopolitan/French-y city many (like myself) use the term “Atelier”

  • it is gender neutral and implies a quality, unique custom work and
    personalised services- the work being done in an extension of the
    atelier called the studio ! So it is all about the social fabric of
    a given community and a “what the herd thinks” mentality that almost
    dictates what the artisan will use in marketing his or her work to a
    target audience.

My shop is the area of my estate in which I have a dedicated area
where I can work with ferrous metals.(.I don’t contaminate the studio
with ferrous grindings, particles etc. I don’t even use red rouges in
it). I also do tinkering (literally, tinkering as in pot repair),
welding, metal production work, electronics/electrical projects, auto
repair and restoration, motorbike restoration, contracted metal
restoration and conservation, woodwork, blacksmithing and milling are
done in the shop.

Shop or Studio or…

As if it mattered to me what I call it, my garage spaces are not
automobile hangars, they are work spaces. Primarily, Diemaking
Dungeon areas and Punchout Prison Press stations. Also, Office
Space, Recording Studio, Materials Storage, Spatial Geometry
Sculpture Laboratorium, Various Miscellaneous Arrangements

Of tools, and Transient Piles of Handyman Debris. Workshop/Garage.
Workshop… Shop ; I don’t really call it ‘Studio’. ‘Studio’ to me
implies some sort of organized, well-kept, occasionally cleaned-up,
fantasy environment, that hasnot all that much to do with the
rock-n-roll of my reality. Dar