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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
January 11, 2010

Question:

How do you have your supplies organized in your workshop? I am trying to decide how to organize my supplies and can’t decide if it would be better to organize by type, size, color, gemstone or some other method. Could you provide advice on this?

Answer:

Loaded question! As you asked how I have my supplies organized, thus this answer: I use hardware organizers for my beads, which are separated into crystals, gemstone, metal and others. Each category has its own hardware cabinet and they are divided by color, where one row across is all pinks, one all blues, etc, and arranged from clear/white down to purples and then blacks, according to the order of a rainbow.

My metal beads and findings are in another hardware cabinet and divided by color and size heading down. First drawer is 2 and 2.5mm, the next 3mm and so on; clasps/toggles and ear wires, etc have their own drawers divided by color. For findings & metal beads I have small pieces of card stock labels taped to the front, inside of each drawer. (Beads I just look for the color through the drawer fronts.)

Cabs are all inside glass topped, knife display cases, organized by color and gemstones are (unfortunately) everywhere! Some are in individual baggies in a hardware cabinet (organized by color and type so blue topaz is separate from white topaz, etc), some are in trays of individual little gemstone boxes with see through tops and others are in their own boxes in the safe.

You can see Mary Bailey’s article, which includes some of the storage ideas our faculty uses in their own work spaces: http://wire-sculpture.com/jewelry-making-blog/1382/setting-up-your-jewelry-making-work-space/

And here you’ll see more ideas from Sherrie Lingerfelt on how to organize, label and store supplies: http://wire-sculpture.com/jewelry-making-blog/533/storing-small-supplies-for-travel/

I’ll bet that while you are organizing, you will find some really cool things that you forgot you had (and new design ideas will pop into your head) so be sure to have a notebook nearby and have fun!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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