Raise your hand if you want to be more productive in the pottery studio… Okay, most of us? In this article we will see how a little organization can do just that. It is the first part of the series “Make the Most of Your Time in the Pottery Studio.”
Organizing The Pottery Studio
It is helpful to consider organization right from the beginning. As you set up your work space, consider your process. Your studio or space should maximize the flow. For example, you wouldn’t pick up a box of clay in one corner, carry it to another corner to the wedging table and then carry the wedged clay to your wheel or work surface in another corner. That would waste a lot of time and energy.
Think about each step of your process and how you can set up the area so your movements are most efficient. Pretend you are a future pot. Visualize the journey you take through your studio as you transform from a chunk of clay to a fired or even sold pot. Do you travel the shortest distance possible? Do you make a lot of zigzags or retrace a lot of your route? Are there any obstacles that make your journey more difficult or time consuming? How can you set up your studio to make this journey as smooth as possible?
You may also need to think about flexible uses for different parts of your space. I don’t have a lot of room to work with so I need to be able to change things for different parts of the process. My glaze table is also a work table or drying table when I’m not glazing. One idea that I really like is to put everything on wheels so it can be moved around. This makes it a lot easier to change your space for different uses and makes cleaning a lot easier too. Boards are also a great place for pots to dry and double as a way to move multiple pots at a time to the next part of the process.
Organizing Pottery Tools
Another thing that improved my efficiency is keeping my tools organized. You’ve probably seen how some people have outlined their tools on pegboards before. You don’t have to be that extreme! But I’ve found that when every tool has it’s own special place I spend a lot less time looking for tools when I need them. Of course, the hardest part for me is to get the tool back into the correct spot during or just after the creative process. But I’ve made a conscious effort to put things away when I’m done and it has made a noticeable difference. I just have to keep in mind that a few seconds of time to return things to their spot can save minutes later. Those minutes add up!
There is one other benefit to keeping my tools organized. After I found a dedicated space for each tool and piece of equipment it allowed me to focus more on the process. Which tools to get out all at once, where to place pots during various stages of the process, where to pick things up and put things down, etc. I could get into a routine and then focus more of my thinking on the pots.
What area of your studio could benefit from more organization?
Would you like a printable checklist to help you make the most of your time in the pottery studio? Visit the original article and fill out the form there to join the email list.
Do you have any ideas that help you stay organized or make the most of your time when making pottery? Leave a comment below or send me a quick email. We would love to hear from you!
In the next article in this series we’ll think about how to minimize distractions in the pottery studio.