The Studio

Welcome to Thistle Rose Studio! My girl cave...

While I have many hobbies that can be done in all parts of the house - sewing, knitting, crochet, beadwork, weaving, macrame,  etc. - the glass lamp working has to have its own space. After receiving a lampwork bead making kit one year for my birthday, and trying it out on a makeshift bench in the garage, I was hooked and started collecting all the pieces-parts for a regular lampwork studio.  I will update as I go along.   More at

Looking to build your own studio?  Look here: Building the Lampwork Studio

Hobbies in this studio include: lamp working, bead making, beading of all kinds, wire work and wrap, wire weaving, leather work, miniature stained glass work, small scale metalworking and such, and other such hobbies. The main shop (shown in the first pic) is for stained glass in general, woodworking, metal working, and other "shop" stuff.  Soft crafts - sewing, weaving, macrame, knitting, and crochet - are done inside the house.

I'm also the author of Grillin the Road.  More here: Grillin the Road

Update: I've moved, and the studio is now all in my kitchen!  I'm also adding music to my activities, with a new mandolin, violin, piano, bodhran, and tambourine!

To begin...
The original lampwork table for the MAPP gas / Hothead torch set up:

This bench was made from scraps in the garage/workshop area.
It was made using scraps of wood and pieces from an old defunct treadmill.

Upon discovering my new addiction, for which there is no cure, I set out to make a space for myself, knowing I would need plenty of room. The laundry room, the back room at the end of the garage, presented itself as just perfect.

The one corner of the utility room - showing the space of the old defunct wall heater.
I had moved my made-from-scraps workbench in here.

The bench - with the initial set up.

First Glass storage

The corner - all set up initially.
Defunct wall heater removed and electricity source re-wired as dedicated source for kiln.

And now...

The studio, to date!
Doorway to paradise.
The original door proved to be in the way, so it is now stored away.

What light through yon window breaks...

Book and binder storage, as well as various mandrel holders
These were made from 2x4, stained, with holes drilled to fit the various mandrels upright to dry after coating with bead release. One fits in a place on the workbench.

The kiln and glass storage area.
Kiln is a Paragon Bluebird bought from Clay King Kilns of South Carolina.
The kiln stand is made from various wood with 18" square ceramic tile on top.
The glass storage are various sizes of PVC pipe.
Behind the kiln is a sheet of galvanized steel with spacers to keep the wall cool.
Mountain Glass Arts Glass Chart - upclose
I'm in the process of making one for my Devardi colors!

MGA Glass Chart - Whole thing
Click here for all soft glass in one listing

The Work bench and other areas.
The range hood was made from an old metal box, with 6" duct going to an extractor fan mounted in a piece of plywood in the window.  It plugs in to a shop power strip mounted to a front leg of the workbench.
The workbench was made from scraps - 2x4 and parts of an old defunct treadmill.
It is raised off the floor by scrap 4x6.
The top is covered with fireproof materials, such as ceramic tile.
The chair is a drafting chair that was a birthday present for my 51st birthday.
In the corner, the water heater is covered loosely by a framed pegboard structure for both use and ventilation (bottom 10" uncovered).
It is easily removed if we should need to get to the water heater. The top is hinged for easy access and allows my computer a place to sit, so I can listen to music or watch instructional videos while working.
Most of my tools came from Devardi!

The other corner. This is the same corner as the "before" picture above.
The reddish color shelves above are some stained glass shelves I made years ago.
Below that: organizing bins for tools and stuff, a set of beads in an old spice rack, a peg board for tools, a workbench for beadwork, more glass rod PVC storage, mounted fire extinguisher within reach of my bench, and spare MAPP gas cylinder.

Under the workbench: my oxygen condenser. This I got used for a great price and alleviates the need for oxygen tanks on my dual gas torch. It's also safer.

Closer view of the workbench.
The back wall has sheet galvanized steel with spacers - keeps the wall cool.
The torch is a Devardi Glass Spartan, mounted high with scrap wood
The arm rests are made from scrap wood as well as scrap leather & batting.
On the right side of the bench is a tool holder and one of the interchangeable mandrel holders.
Along the back: fiber blanket for small bead annealing, bowl of water, and the glass warmer (Devardi)
My Spartan Torch:
The 2x4 tool holder (left) is screwed to the table, while
the longer mandrel holders (right) are interchangeable.
Each 2x4 mandrel holder has holes drilled to a specific size, one size per board.
They're stained to make them look nicer.
On the edge is a piece of quarter-round molding to keep the board in place.

The window.
Stained glass piece by my friend Linda Odum.
Glass rods in the window are my Devardi rods that haven't been organized as of yet.

Old shelf unit we got at a yard sale holds many miscellaneous things for crafting.
To the right is a piece of scrap peg board I refuse to throw away.
To the left is a bead loom (another yard sale find)

Below the curio shelf is an old file holder for bead boards,
another yard-sale find spice rack that nicely holds large tic-tac containers which hold beads,
bins to the left that hold my bead cleaning tools,
The green organizer holds stained glass tools and supplies,
and the white plastic dishes for beads that I got on clearance at Krogrer one day.

Left: clearance drawer unit from Lowe's holds various things.
Yard sale find spice rack with jars holding seed beads.
See below for peg board.

Peg board tool holder:
leather and bead tools, glue guns, wire supplies (pending new organizer for wire)
To the left: scrap PVC/plastic cups/wood for mandrel and bead release storage
Below that: peg board basket for stuff.
Top of pegboard: peg board shelf holders for flat storage containers that hold findings.
Said mandrel storage holder.

More scrap use of Peg board and PVC pipe for immediate use of glass rods.

Another view of storage units

The TARDIS overlooking all, with other less used items and my handmade Steampunk gun

Pegboard over electric water heater:
various tool storage for lampworking

Hooks on workbench hold lampwork apron, kiln gloves, lampwork glasses and spark lighters.

Lower portion of pegboard for various tools.

Storage above washer & dryer for more supplies.

Cork board currently showing color chart for Devardi glass rods

Track lighting 

Ventilation system

Outdoor storage box for propane tanks
Made from old fence boards previously used for tier garden

Inside: propane tanks and propane hose system.
The hose goes through a PVC pipe with threaded ends (for caps to close off) into the utility room (read: studio) generally used for water drainage via hose for the electric water heater. 

Vent cover on outside of window holding vent fan.
The upper part of this old window was broken, so it was replaced with the plywood holder for the fan and a piece of scrap Plexiglas. 

More upgrades to come!

Thanks to (for inspiration):
The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking by Kimberley Adams
Various sources on the internet
My dad (RIP) for the love of creation and building
My mom for inspiration and artistic ability
My hubby and daughter for support and encouragement

Me - Jan 2015