Come behind the scenes at Mill Lane Studio and tour Myléne's studio & office in Brisbane, Australia.
The storage! I'm so lucky to have a wall of custom built cupboards - both underbench and overhead. Most of my general craft supplies are stored in plastic tubs which fit perfectly inside these cupboards which keeps the room clutter free. All my jewellery making supplies are kept in the mobile storage units which line two of the other walls. I use the top of these units for displaying my jewellery.
Tell us about your space
My studio space is quite large (4.1m x 5.6m - 13' 6" x 18' 4")
and it does double duty as both my design studio and my teaching space so it is permanently set up with work tables. Eight people can comfortably work around the tables which means when I'm not teaching, I have lots of room to spread out and I can have several projects on the go at once. But when I have workshops scheduled, it all has to be put away.
My computer sits in the corner nearest the door and this is where I deal with the business side of things. I spend a lot of time in this corner so I've surrounded myself with pretty things here - it's actually my favourite part of the room.
At the other end of the room is a large picture window where light streams in. I have my resin bangles displayed there and when the sun comes across in the afternoon, the resin takes on a wonderful warm glow.
On the work tables I supplement the natural light with daylight task lamps. My favourite one is a swing arm lamp with a built in magnifier which helps me with really close up work. Electricity is accessed from power points in the ceiling so that there are no cords trailing across the floor to trip on.
On the last wall is a display unit which was previously used exclusively for storage but I'm gradually turning it into a display space. It currently has some of my Friendly Plastic creations and mixed media jewellery on display.
What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?
I'm a really messy crafter but in contrast, my decorating style is quite minimalist. The furniture/storage units are predominantly white and beech giving me an uncluttered, neutral background to display all my jewellery against. I love to have it all around me - it's fun to set up little vignettes of some of my favourite pieces. It also means that my studio is ever evolving because the displays can be easily updated with my most recent pieces. With the addition of black accents throughout the studio, the décor has a clean, crisp feel to it.
How do you keep organized?
As I said, I'm a messy crafter so my studio can go from neat and tidy to disaster zone in no time at all. Because I HAVE to clean up for classes, I make sure I put things away where they belong so I can find them again when I need them. If it's an ongoing project, I put all the supplies for the project in a clear tub and then it gets stored under the bench. If it's a small project, it will go in a ziplock bag.
Keeping organised means constantly evaluating what needs to be kept in the studio. To make sure I always have storage room in the studio, I regularly purge the items I no longer need and box up the things that I only use periodically. The purged items are usually donated to a local school or charity whilst the boxed up items are stored in my garage storage area. Each box is labelled with its specific contents (some boxes will have several labels on them) to save me from having to rummage through the boxes to find what I need.
Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?
I store all my bulky supplies in clear tubs with lids so I can see what's inside them. They are also labelled for easy identification and stored inside cupboards to keep the room visually uncluttered.
I use the Best Craft Organizer system for my beads and components because the drawers have compartmented trays. I sort them by colour and material and then label them so I don't have to pull out drawer after drawer to find what I'm looking for.
My best bead organising tip is to place the label from the packaging/bead strand into the compartment before filling it so you have the product details at your fingertips. I find this invaluable for when I'm writing up project instructions and it also makes it easy to reorder when I run out.
Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?
Many years ago my father-in-law made me a personalised wooden pen holder. He turned the timber on a lathe and then made a leather sleeve to fit around the middle which he stamped with my name. He even placed the accent over the letter "E". When you have an unusual name like mine, it's impossible to find personalised off-the-shelf items so I absolutely treasure this piece. It holds all my knives and styluses so they're always close at hand.
Visitors often remark that my studio is like a shop because I have a lot of my designs displayed around the room: some of them are framed like art, some are displayed as if they were in a gallery and some pieces hang on racks, just like in a jewellery store. I enjoy having it all displayed because it's so colourful!
How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?
Before Pinterest came along, I attached sticky tabs to magazine pages to mark projects and techniques I was interested in. But now, I just pin everything to Pinterest - it's much tidier than a pile of magazines!
Where do you look for inspiration?
Mostly, my inspiration will come from the beads and components themselves. I like to look at the components from a fresh perspective and see how they might be used differently.
If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?
Wish No. 1 - I would love to have a sink for cleaning up.
When we built this house 5 years ago, the builder talked me out of having a sink installed in the studio. I wish that I had disregarded his advice because it would be really handy when I'm working with paints and glues.
Wish No. 2 - I'd love space for a big comfy chair to sit in and read (and maybe daydream)
Wish No. 3 - I'd wish for a cleaning fairy!
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