Works places

The place I go everyday to work is the studio. We are very fortunate
to have a walk-out basement under our house, which is dry,
(relatively) clean, brightly lit, and has its own AC zone. My
office/den is also down there/here. I have had a studio most of the
time for the last 15 years, and/or a designated place for a drafting
table for the last 23 years.

Norman has a smaller “shop” down here also, but he rarely uses it
these days…I pull wire in there and use his anvil. It is a typical
metal shop type of place, no carpeting on the slab and is occupied by
a huge (9’ x 5’) computerized XY table that he built a couple of
years ago. The studio has indoor/outdoor carpet that the previous
artist/owner installed to help sell the house. Legend has it that
the slab underneath has a Jackson Pollock-type cacophony of paint
splatters and evidence of artworks from another time.

No matter what kind of work is done in there, it always seems more
likely to be called a studio. My previous one was in a dank, mildewy
basement in the Virginia mountains where the sun rarely shone and I
suffered from SADS a lot. Here, I sometimes go a whole week without
leaving the property except to walk the dog once a day, and midnight
comes way too quickly. For the most part, I only go upstairs to eat
and sleep. And visit my husband occasionally throughout the day. :slight_smile:

Nel Bringsjord
GIA Diamonds, AJP
Safety Harbor, FL

I call mine a workshop. Workshop signifies that I’m actually doing
work in the space (it’s all psychological). It makes me feel more
like a craftsman rather than an artist. But that’s another topic for

Jeff Herman

I call it the Studio with the Big Front Door (garage).

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan

I work in the lean to at the back of the house - the wall that isn’t
touching the house is mostly glass, the ceiling is transparent/
translucent plastic. I share it with a washing machine, some bikes, a
lawnmower and the recycling boxes. I call it the shed - though in the
summer heat I call it the sweatshop and stay out of it for a few
hours in the middle of the day if I possibly can!


I’ve had a honey bee nest on my workshop window for a year now. Has
any one seen a wild nest like this? Even after a year I still find
it a masing.

Here is a link to a couple of pictures.

Mary UK

Having come up through the fine arts university system, I have
always worked in a “studio”.

The current one is purpose-built under the “big room” addition to my
house. It connects via a small staircase, and has its own outside
double doors. Necessary for moving in the large etching press, the
large paper hydraulic press, and the ceramic kiln. It has a fiber
media area complete with full oven/stove for dyeing; a photographic
darkroom (built right before the digital camera age…sigh…showing
my age here!); a jewelry making area; printmaking area; and
multi-use area for painting, drawing, candle making, etc.

Just finally put in a window AC this year - we had originally
thought it was enough underground not to need that. Hah hah hah hah.
Big joke. Summers have NOT been fun!

It has windows on three sides, looking out on one side towards the
side lawn and driveway; on another towards the pool and across the
bottom land towards Thompson creek; and on the last side across the
pond and towards the State Park. The back side is a retaining wall
up under the house.

It is, of course, much too small ! They always are - I don’t care how
big a studio is, you can always think of a way that it would be
better bigger!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

I call mine “the kitchen”…

Considering the negliable amount of cooking I usually do and the
type of work I do, I decided to turn the space to a better use.

I think studio better describes a ladies workplace. Not a shop or
a workshop! These are clean and neat! 

Oh no! Not the dreaded gender issue again! ; )

I generally call my place “the shop” unless I’m talking to people to
whom I might try to sell things. To some people, “studio” suggests
“atelier,” and I think, to the lay public, “studio” has a sort of
subliminal connotation that suggests “artwork by total nutjob whose
stuff might be worth something someday.”

I once did a little show-and-tell session for my neighbor’s Girl
Scout troop (how on earth did I get suckered into that one?), and
while we were standing in my basement workshop, I used the word
“studio.” One of the girls looked around - at the water heater and
litterboxes, probably - and said, “This is your studio?!” I guess she
was expecting something more bohemian?


Jessee Smith
Cincinnati, OH

I’ve always told myself, “Self, A studio is where one designs, a shop
is where one creates.” But then I began to argue with myself: “So
what happens when one is forced to design on the fly, or in the
middle of a project that is not going as planned, does the shop then
morph into a studio?” You can call mine what you want just not the
bathroom. ;-8

It is, of course, much too small ! They always are - I don't care
how big a studio is, you can always think of a way that it would be
better bigger! 

Uh, well, if it will help you appreciate your space more, I’ll let
you know that my space is 60 square feet. : )


Mary, Thanks for the bee pics! I’ve been working on bee/wasp
inspired work a lot lately. Couldn’t be more timely!


Thanks, everyone for your responses regarding what you call the
space that you work in. I’ve been calling mine a “studio” since my
very first space in the corner of the bedroom of the apartment that I
shared with my girlfriend in college (now my wife-- 25 years this

We occasionally call it a “shop” but, for some reason, never a

I think that the term “studio” more directly characterizes the
intent that I have when I walk in the door. “Studio” seems to best
sum up the overlapping actions that take place in theRe: simple
construction, play, conception, investigation, design and execution.

Thanks again…


Thanks Andy lovely that you can use them. I have loads more
pictures!! I only posted two so as not to bore people. Some pictures
are of part filled cells with honey that the light shines through and
distorts the image if you want any mail me off line. I can get images
so close - glass pane distance, and macro on the camera, feel the
warmth through the glass and smell the honey and watch the bees
making wax and building comb - so damm lucky!

I also have some incredible pics of a small wasps nest, with 6-7
cells inside a tiny golf ball sized ball, from a friend.


For me, it’s an easy distinction between my shop and my studio. I own
and run a manufacturing company with high-volume, precision machining
(iron, zinc, aluminum, steel, brass). This is my shop (or factory).
We turn out metal chips to the tune of 10+ cubic yards daily. In my
studio, my chips might reach a teaspoonful in a day. Metal’s in my
blood, but the differences are significant.



That is the most amazing picture of a most amazing hive. OK, Andy,
when will we see the results of your studying this thing? :slight_smile:

Kay Taylor

Oh Mary, your studio bee colony is stunning! I have a degree in
entomology and worked as a beekeeper for several years. I have
encountered wild bee hives inside of tree trunks and the like, but
never saw one exposed to the elements that lasted so long. It is very
inspiring as I am working on a series of bug brooches.

Cheers, Jeanie Pratt

Here is a link to a couple of pictures. 

That’s just raw honeybee comb without an enclosure around it. They
normally nest inside logs or boxes. Very cool!

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry

I've had a honey bee nest on my workshop window for a year now.
Has any one seen a wild nest like this? Even after a year I still
find it a masing. 

Hi Mary! Thanks for sharing your pix of your beautiful bee colony. My
husband, who studies beekeeping and its history, said that he’s seen
“naked” hives (i.e. not in hollow logs, boxes, etc.) like this one in
trees on occasion. You must live in a warm part of the UK, where the
winters won’t freeze them.

Alas, my studio’s arthropod fauna is limited to pillbugs,
collembolans, cellar spiders, and those funky centipedes that look
like ambulatory mustaches.

Jessee Smith
Cincinnati, OH


I've had a honey bee nest on my workshop window for a year now.
Has any one seen a wild nest like this? Even after a year I still
find it a masing.

I’ve been away from Orchid for a while… just too busy.

What a beautiful sculpture those bees have made outside your
studio/workshop/whatever. How wonderful!

I have gone from working in the “living room”, to "down in the shed"
to “the room downstairs” and am now trying hard to call my workbench
in my little shop “the studio”. I guess it’s about what you feel
comfortable with.

Cheers, Renate

In some of my recent workshops my students and I were conversing
about where we work, as part of our introduction to one another.

Several of them began their intro by using rather disparaging terms
and foreboding descriptions of their work places. After the second or
third “I work in a shed/basement/dungeon/ laundry
room/closet/garage/spare bedroom, etc…” I had to intercede.

“Let’s do this” I interjected, "“let’s use the word studio instead of
all of these other less complimentary descriptions.” A few protested,
“but I don’t have a proper studio yet!” So, I suggested we look at
what it is that defines a studio. After a bit of dialogue we arrived
at a concensus that a studio is a place where creativity happens and
things come into being.

Personaly, I don’t see any value or benefit in describing what we do
or where we do it with negative terminology and apologetic
descriptions of our work place. No matter how meager or sparse, it is
the creative activity which is most important, more so than the
physicality of the environment or the absence of infrastructure.

Even if a person’s workspace is 24" of the dining room table, or a
ironing board in a closet, while that real estate is being used in a
creative way, I think of it as a studio. Looking at it as such and
realizing it as such is the key to changing one’s perspective. And,
perspective after all, is the key to many things in life.

Getting the students to come onboard with this mindset made a
tremendous improvement in the way they thought about themselves and
their creative expression. It allowed and encouraged everyone to feel
more positive and productive and it helped to set a great tone for
our workshop experience.

It is often the seemingly least significant details which canmake
the greatest impact on what we do.Using the word studio, and
perceiving the area we work in as a studio, is a good example.

Michael David Sturlin