Creating space and having the right storage solutions can be a tricky task for any jewellery maker!
In this post, Steph from Scruffy Dog Silver shares with us how she created a space for herself to pursue her passion for jewellery making and how she organises her small space within her beautiful shed...
I’m Steph - designer, maker and chief biscuit muncher here at Scruffy Dog Silver.
I’m just a one-woman band so also responsible for all packing and posting and everything admin from those dreaded accounts to website design.
I launched my little business back in 2011 and over the years have managed to go part-time at the ‘day job’.
Mainly a self-taught smithy, often each bespoke request will present a challenge and that’s how I learn and develop new techniques…it’s fun.
I simply love being creative and making things for folks.
Early on I realised the need for a dedicated space to create my metal mischief… I have a corner of the garage set aside for all my soldering work, the pickle pot and for the polisher but it has no natural light to work the finer aspects of jewellery making.
I used to work from the kitchen table. I remember eating meals with the rolling mill perched at the head of the table, and all sorts of tools and paraphernalia being scattered everywhere.
It was never going to work long-term…I needed somewhere that I could call my own - where I could shut the door, walk away and then go back and pick up exactly where I left everything.
It’s just a simple run of the mill potting shed. Nothing
I rotated the roof by 90° so it gave me as much headroom as possible and because I thought it could perhaps look a bit like a beach hut and painted it in my favourite colours so it became a feature in the garden.
It has a part glass roof and
Most of the time this works so very perfectly…unless it’s the height of summer, and on those rare but beautiful scorching hot summer days it’s just impossible to work in - so instead I set up a workbench outside, perched myself under the plum tree and work barefoot on the
I have some very clever and generous chums and they pitched in with their expertise and it was quickly given power and was insulated and some awesome rainbow striped flooring was found and laid.
Much of my work is personalised so I do spend the majority of my time
All my lovely jeweller hammers live in a handmade wooden
Everything has its place…
You can’t beat IKEA and Hobbycraft for storage solutions and I have a mix of both. They add a spot of colour to The Shed and match the floor!
I think I am proudest of my storage ‘drawers’ that sit under the bench. I fished out a load of handheld scanner boxes out of the skip at work, made from lovely thick cardboard, I punched through a couple of holes and knotted on a seagrass handle.
Very out of character for me really…I’m not nearly this organised in real life! It makes me
Many things I use have a dual purpose. So for example, wooden champagne crates, picked up from a local wine merchants double up as bookshelves and storage boxes in The Shed and are also used to display my silver at fairs and craft markets.
The old vegetable crate I use to store my tumbler and shot belonged to my pap and is almost a family heirloom - it’s years
All my jewellery punches are kept safe inside an old WW2 ammo box. Things were beginning to rust up being left out on the workbench, so my punches are regularly cleaned and lubricated and tucked away when not in use.
I use a fabulous chunk of driftwood found at the beach to house all those tiny Dremel accessories and drill bits. I simply drilled a hole to suit each one and boom…they don’t get lost so easily then!
The Shed has become very important to me. It’s MY space. It’s a happy place. Yes, it has a
I have a map pinned to the ceiling so I can mark
I have a blackboard to help remember sizes and measurements of popular pieces. I always have my favourite tunes on courtesy of Planet Rock Radio…and it’s not usual to find me… “just popping down the Shed for a mo” at noon on a Sunday for The Blues Power Sunday Brunch show - I love to hear the
I have a secret stash of biscuits…
I’m often joined by one of the Dogs whilst working. Muffin especially loves to curl up and snore the day away. Often getting covered in a fine
Lolly seems to only visit when she hears the biscuit tin
Other aspects of running a small business from home have just quietly blended in and around daily life.
I have a little space where I take all my photographs inside the dining room, this too has a glass roof and once the sun sneaks around out of direct sight its perfect for taking snaps.
I don’t use anything more than an iPhone with a Nimbus Cloud Dome, preferring to use natural light than any electric light.
I bought a lovely tall vintage cabinet that my beloved record player sits on when I’m not busy using it to take photos. The backgrounds that I use are simply wooden placements from the kitchen table and my props are often bits and bobs I have perched on the
All my admin is kept in the spare room, utilising more upcycled
Everything is to hand, but disguised to fit in and around my home.
ScruffyDog has become a way of life and I am hoping that come the summer, I can take the next leap and go full time with it and see where it may take me next.