When I first moved into the space, all of my studio equipment was piled on the floor in the middle of the room, so the first step was to get it off of the floor. Following the spirit of a handmade design studio I decided I wanted to build all of the shelving and tables by hand. In hindsight it would have been more inexpensive and less time consuming to buy pre-existing shelving units or tables, but it felt important that I take the opportunity to experience building everything.
Many sticks later, I had eight shelves, six tables, a photo booth, and an office desk. I then contracted local makers to build casting tables and a spray booth as well as install plumbing and electrical. It was an intensive process to design a system to move powdered raw materials into porcelain slip into finished pots and out of the studio, so I had to visualize how everything would move through the space. This meant dimensioning ware boards, shelving units, slip tanks, a dry box, as well as calculating kiln space and an effective packing and shipping area.
Of course, as a designer, I walked around the studio for months with a measuring tape attached to my hand, thinking and rethinking how to best utilize the space. As with any design process some issues only become evident once you’ve put the design into action. For example, thinking about the dimensions of a wareboard and how they fit on the shelves, and whether or not they’re easy to move around and how many pots fit on the became clear once we started full production. Moving pots through the studio is a constantly evolving process. There will always be improvements to the system that will only become evident through experience.
The goal of the business was to create a studio to reproduce high quality studio pots. The model would be based off of designing and manufacturing for wholesale and ultimately direct online sales. The end goal is to build an online handmade design brand.