Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Storing Your Supplies Artistically with Lori Anderson

Part of getting ready for artistic ventures is the absolute joy of buying new supplies. Paints, pastels, vintage ephemera, yarn, tons of books, metal-working tools, glass, beads — it’s like Christmas every time the UPS man comes! But with all this largess comes the dilemma of where in the world do I STORE this stuff? Moving into a new house is just not an option, so what to do… what to do.
Something I’ve realized is all of these new supplies are really, really pretty. So I started thinking outside the (paint) box and came up with some new home decor.
I’ve started random collections throughout the house. Here, lovely jars from Pottery Barn full of yarn, waiting for a class in sock knitting….
The yarn was just too pretty to put away in a box, so for now, they’re filling up these jars.
Speaking of jars, I found a vintage fruit jar and I’m using it to hold a treasure-trove of glass rod ends that I was given by a lovely blog reader. I’m holding on to them for a bit, just waiting to mash them up and turn them into frit or pull into stringer for lampworking. In the meantime, they're pretty just as they are!

Some of my storage options are BIG, like this one -- an antique postal sorting unit. It's huge and I love it. The sorting bins slant slightly downwards, making them perfect for glass rod storage:
Storing your art supplies this way may not be practical. Don’t get me wrong — all of my stash is most certainly NOT on display. Most, in fact, is packed into boxes and unceremoniously shoved under beds or into closets. But considering the beauty we make WITH the tools of our trade, doesn’t it stand to reason that some of our tools and supplies would be beautiful, too?
So choose a few. Find an unusual way to make them an everyday part of your decor. Who knows? It might just be the gentle nudge you need to try that new project you’ve been meaning to start.

Lori Anderson’s is a full time jewelry designer in Easton, MD. Her jewelry can be seen at She also writes a blog called Pretty Things and An Artist's Year Off.

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