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ToriMae 2020-02-16 6:52am

Building a new garage-studio from scratch
First poster here - hi!

I have a leaky, asbestos-roofed garage that is pretty useless, so DH and I are going to knock it down and get a new one built that I can use as my very own studio!

Excitingly this means I have the opportunity to ask for things up-front 🤓. The things I've thought of so far are windows/ports in the right place for me to set up proper ventilation, and lots and lots of power sockets.

It's only really when you start using the space though that you realise what you need - so I've been reading everything I can find on LE about studios! My question for you guys is, if you could design your studio from scratch, what would you ask for?

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EmeryLawson 2020-02-16 7:41am

Separate circuits for running the kiln and everything else so no power issues. Also it would be wonderful to plan ventilation from the beginning instead of just working with the windows/opening that are already there. Have fun, I would love to build a studio from scratch!

ToriMae 2020-02-16 8:18am


Originally Posted by EmeryLawson (Post 5062885)
Separate circuits for running the kiln and everything else so no power issues. Also it would be wonderful to plan ventilation from the beginning instead of just working with the windows/opening that are already there. Have fun, I would love to build a studio from scratch!

That's such a good point on the kiln! Thank you :)

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echeveria 2020-02-16 9:01am

Adequate electricity is very important! I know several people who had to rewire once they hooked up lights, air conditioners, heaters, kilns, concentrators, ventilation, etc.

Think about how you like to work. I need a lot of counter space because if I can't see it, I don't have it; thus it needs to be sitting out unless I want to spend the day hunting something. Other people can't stand the clutter, so like cabinets or closed shelves.

Sturdy glass storage if you intend to hoard glass.

A second work space if you like to have friends over to play.

Speedslug 2020-02-16 1:24pm

You will want lots of lighting.

I use some yellow(ish) work lights. {I happened to have two smaller 400 watt work lights when I started.}

I also have one of those adjustable arm round magnifier lights in a middling blue / white color.

AND then I put a fluorescent 18 inch stick light in my vent hood just over my face.

The last two lights give me a round circle and a straight line reflection on my glass and those really help me see how round my bead is regardless of the color of the glass.

Make sure your incoming "make up air" is coming from somewhere at least 10 feet from where your vent is dumping the out going exhaust fumes other wise you can wind up sucking back in the gases you were trying to get rid of.

I don't know where you live but a small fan to cool you off as well as some source of personal heater to keep you warm are good ideas too.

My bench is right in front of a window that I crack open to bring in "make up air" but in the winter my hands get cold so I set up one or two infrared heater lights and they make a world of difference without heating air that is going to go out the vent with the fumes.

Also a heater under bench pointed at my legs helps too.

ToriMae 2020-02-17 12:35pm

Thanks @echeveria - I'm thinking about putting up pegboard to hold tools and whatnot (not that I have many yet as I've been renting studio space and borrowing tools there until now) but definitely a good idea on the glass storage front - and preferably within reaching distance of the torch for when I inevitably forget to collect everything I want!

@speedslug Is there a reason you went for yellow lights? I need to read up on what people find works best as I'm not sure what lighting we have in the studio space I use.

I'm in the UK so heating is definitely a good idea for winter - and a kettle too!

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Speedslug 2020-02-17 1:24pm

My studio was put together by the committee in my head using what ever I could find for cheap at boot sales, and give aways in Craig's List.

The hood is a monster 3 by 6 foot kitchen remodel reject that I painted bright white on the inside a furnace fan from a 2 story, 4 bedroom house.

The work lights I had on hand happened to have the bright yellow tint that halogen lamps make and I tried to ballence the color with the florescent lights.
I have 4 regular 'day light' lamps in the over head fixture behind me so when I look at what I am doing over the tops of my didymium glasses I see the colors pretty much match reality.

But color and lighting is all subjective when it comes down to the details and when you add in the heat of melting glass and such it really doesn't require more than light to see what you are doing mechanically with tools and glass rods.

ToriMae 2020-02-19 1:38pm

Thank you! So much to think about...! But I'm determined to make it happen this year, I haven't been able to practice in far too long.

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KJohn 2020-02-19 2:32pm

A side door near your work station is terrific, vents to outside, you can use one for your system, just take the cover off. Windows would be awesome, but in any case, they have daylight lights that can go in the ceiling, and last a really long time. Get some!
And figure at least three dedicated circuits. One can have several outlets, that is for all the small stuff - concentrators, any more lights, ventilations system, recharging for the phone/tablet or to plug in a tv....The kiln takes one. And the heating or cooling you may use takes one also.

ToriMae 2020-02-22 2:34pm

Daylight lights is such a good idea! We're hoping to have plenty of windows as DH wants to use one side for his woodwork, plus it's nice to be able to see out into the garden 🙂

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