Bellvue, CO, United States • Visit Website »

Come behind the scenes at Jill MacKay Enterprises for a #CraftRoomTour and see Jill's studio in Bellvue, Colorado.

My space is in a historic building and it is all old growth wood. Floors, ceiling and walls. Large windows with wonderful light.

Tell us about your space

My studio is half of the building and the other half is my living space so I just cross back and forth to go to work. It is wonderful. I live in a tiny foothill community outside of Fort Collins in a place called Bellvue (French for beautiful view) in a valley name Pleasant Valley. Right behind me is Watson Lake and a National Heritage river The Chache la Poudre River. Which are SERIOUSLY BEAUTIFUL. 3 of my oldest friends (of 40 years) live within walking distance and we see each other all the time. So my studio is not just a work/live place it could only be better if my kids were here too.

What have you done to make your space cosy, beautiful or inspiring?

I have gotten seriously organized by purchasing craft furniture that helps me be able to organize the ten million beads and findings I have and use. Also I have set up spaces according to discipline. So metals and torches , along with polishing in one spot. Die cutting and dies (that I designed) for cutting leather in another, beading as well as a display area and more.

How do you keep organized?

The furniture I purchased specifically for craft supply organization.

Any tips & tricks for organising supplies?

For my tubes of beads I purchase beautiful hard wood2 x 4"s and drill holes in them the size of the tubes and then have those boards separated by colors and sizes.

Which are your favourite possessions and are there any of your own creations on display?

I am a beadaholic, so my massive stash of beads that go back 20 plus years are my faves. They are even in my will! As far as displays, yes I have a wall and a table dedicated to finished creations. I use an old rusted twin size mattress springs on the wall that has tiny lights around the outside edge.

How do you organise your inspiration and ideas?

I work a lot. I have my own company Jill MacKay Enterprises LLC and am head of design for a company in Longmont, CO named Left Hand Studios. I have been designing jewelry components for years and it is just a solid state of flow. Inspiration in, creation (product design) out. I had to work years to build up my ability to have such a large output. I draw a lot and have dozens of filled sketchbooks as well as old sales sheets.

Where do you look for inspiration?

I do not "think" per say. My process is more like absorb, digest and draw. I absorb from nature and it travels through me and the output is first sketched and then made into metal and beads. When I work I do not think. My mind is quiet. When I stop to think and judge I consider the actual flow to be stopped. The thinking part comes in with part numbers and spread sheets which is difficult for me as I am dyslexic and have a math learning disability.

If you had three wishes, what would you do to make it the dream space?

To move it back from the road a quarter mile so it sat right on the lakes edge. But that's the state's property! My second wish would be super comfortable chairs so I could make my guests more comfortable when they come for a workshop or just to work alongside me in the studio. The rest is exactly as I like it! Lucky me!

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