There's a "problem" that I just needed to solve. For the first time since moving to the new studio I am producing cloth faster than I can finish it and send it to the seamstress. The result last week was a massive pile of cloth on the sewing table.
Well, how am I supposed to sew the edges if I can't even get to the machine? I thought I could get by until after the shows in Washington, but this is just not possible.
Last week I scouted a spot in the studio where I thought one of my large shelving units might fit without too much impediment to the workflow. Then I got up on a ladder and clipped up a chunk of my trusty canvas to hang down and simulate the space that would be consumed by the new shelf.
It gave me a good feel for how much room would be left to move around the looms as I did my day-to-day work. It also let me see how the light in the studio would be impacted and gave me a place to put the stuff that would eventually go onto the shelves.
The last time I set these shelves up, I made the individual layers equidistant from each other and ended up with a lot of unusable space. This time I decided to space them according to what was going to be stored on them. I made sure that the main shelf was at "standing desk" height so that I have someplace to do my daily time-and-production-tracking paperwork. I also made sure that this shelf had LOTS of overhead room so that I could easily stack all of my backstock of unfinished cloth there.
Here you can see the cloth workflow laid out in piles.
Wow, this really helps! I'm down to the wire to get all of the cloth woven, finished, and delivered to the seamstress in time for her to sew the garments and get them back to me before I leave for Washington. I process things physically so there's nothing like a real stack of cloth literally moving toward the door as I complete one step after another. It's sort of like a real-life bar chart. No abstraction here!
And here's a photo of the studio, including the latest addition. It's not really as tight as it looks. There's enough room to walk all the way around both looms with ease, even while the warping cart is feeding threads to the setup loom.
And, yes, it took a few precious hours from my weaving time, but the studio organization and management simplicity that it enabled are well the investment.