Our team recently had the privilege of visiting a beautiful studio in Denver, Colorado. Ceramics in the City occupies a compact space, and yet their team has managed to create a studio that feels spacious, inspiring, and incredibly well utilized.
Stephanie was kind enough to share her process with us. We hope this fantastic makeover inspires you to revitalize and refresh the displays in your studio!
Can you tell us a little bit about how you started with Warm Glass? We started offering glass about 7 years ago. We bought the small kit that had just a little bit of the basics. Our first fused piece had a lot of squares and rectangles but we thought it was beautiful.
We decided to offer glass because it was so fun, different, and had a wow factor. Our glass fusing station started out in a small rolling cart from the Container Store. I think back on that little cart and chuckle to myself but it worked for it and us didn't take up a lot of room.
When did you start to expand your glass offerings? After about a year of our rolling cart and "dabbling" in glass fusing we decided that we needed to take it to another level so when Spectrum offered a glass fusing class in Bellingham, Washington, I signed up! I learned so much from my trip. With all the technical information I learned from Spectrum and the practical guidance from Chinook (the studio hostess) I was ready to take our glass fusing to the next level.
What was your next step? We loved the idea of displaying glass in the window and already had display shelves in place! I bought some tall glass tumblers from the dollar store for the strips, clear acrylic boxes for our glass blocks and used our mosaic containers for the smaller glass pieces. Because I was baby proofing our house our glass IKEA hutch was brought into the studio to house our glass bases. It seemed like we had planned the set up all along!
How did your new display work for you? It worked great and our glass sales started to increase. Over the years however I would still get those customers that would say, "I never knew you offered glass fusing". That seemed really odd to me because to enter the studio you had to walk right thru our glass fusing area. Not to mention all the samples, our brochure and classes offered. We also felt like our set up could be better.But how?
What finally inspired your current setup? One day Bisque Imports shared a studio's picture of a new glass-fusing center on their Facebook page. I loved it! It got me inspired to take our glass out of the window and make it a focal point in the studio. We didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a new set up, though. I sat in the studio and rearranged the display in my head for a long time. Finally I came up with a plan. The move and new set up would mean we would have to give up a bit of pottery real estate. I love glass, so this was ok with me!
What did you decide on? The Denver Art Museum has an amazing gift shop and the focal point in the gift shop is a white wall that is brightly lit. What do you think is on that wall from floor to ceiling? You guessed it! Fused Glass! I wanted that same wall in our studio. We already had all the shelving and cubbies we needed for the change. We painted the black cubbies white and I clipped on a bunch of lights and bam! Ã¢â‚¬" We have our art gallery wall!
Tell us what you love about your new display. Our new glass fusing station is easy to maneuver and helps tell the glass fusing story. I had struggled with where to put our glass kits and now I have the perfect spot. It's bright and easy to understand. It is easy to give instruction to newbie glass fusers because of the counter and the set up. Our veteran glass fusing customers also love the new space.
We hardly spent a dime! We already had white paint. I bought a new blade for my jig saw to cut down the shelves. It was worth the cost of the blade! In the 10 years we have had our little studio this new glass set up is the best change we have made.
Great job, Stephanie and the Ceramics in the City team! Your new display is seriously impressive. This transformation serves as a reminder to all of us to revisit what we're doing every now and then. Most times, the spaces and systems that we have in place can easily be updated for a fresh look!