Rent a studio or work from home? Some thoughts on how to decide

There comes a point when you need to decide if you’ve outgrown your jewellery making workspace at home. So, what are the pros and cons of renting a jewellery studio versus working from home? LJS and Jewellery School Online tutor Anna Campbell has been thinking a lot about this issue and shares her thoughts

 

I’m primarily a metal clay artist and have a space to make at home but I have recently been looking at the options for renting a jewellery studio. I have been weighing up the pros and cons of renting a studio versus working from home.

Jewellery making from home

Pros

  • Cost – This is the main consideration for me. It doesn’t cost me any extra to work from home plus I don’t have additional costs e.g. travel
  • Time – The time it takes to travel to and from the studio could be more usefully used making jewellery from home
  • Convenience – Any time I get a great idea I can act on it if I am working from home

Cons

  • Space – Your ability to work from home, of course, depends on the amount of space you have and whether that space can be dedicated to your work
  • Life/work balance – There’s no separation of life and work and that can be difficult to manage
  • Concentration There’s always something else to do at home, it is difficult to concentrate solely on making and designing

Renting a studio

Pros

  • Dedicated space – You have a dedicated space for your jewellery making, not a room that sometimes needs to be used if guests come to stay!
  • Networking  – You have the opportunity to network with and learn from other designer makers at the studio, to work together and collaborate
  • Selling eventMany studios have open studio events where the public are invited in to buy. I recently visited Cockpit Arts in London and was told that many artists make their year’s rent back through sales at their two annual open studio events
  • Equipment – You may be able to share expensive equipment that you wouldn’t buy otherwise e.g. rolling mill, polisher etc

Cons

  • Cost Financially, renting a studio is a big commitment, an additional monthly cost, especially if your income is sporadic. You also need to factor in the cost of travel between home and your studio.
  • Travel time Depending on where your studio is, you will spend time travelling to and fro

So, how do I decide?

I think there are two important things to look at when deciding whether to rent a studio or continue to work from home. Firstly, the logistics. I can see that my business will develop if I rent a studio space but, perhaps like many of the readers of this blog, there isn’t a convenient studio nearby; I would need to travel an hour each way in order to utilise a suitable space. Logistically, I don’t see how that will work out for me at the moment.

The second thing to consider is to know yourself. Really think about whether you will be able to make the most of the opportunity of having that dedicated space for the next 12 months.

How do I find out what’s available in my area?

Keep an eye out in the local press as well as on Gumtree. In addition, Benchpeg, a weekly email newsletter and website for the UK jewellery industry, regularly features jewellery workshops for rent in their classified adverts section.

Also, remember that the London Jewellery School runs a rent a bench scheme as well as rent a kiln. Check out the website for more information.

Do you rent a studio or work from home? How did you decide what would be best for you? Please do share your thoughts by making a comment on this post or via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages. We’d love to see some photos of your workspace – studio or home!

Anna Campbell is a metal clay artist and tutor at the London Jewellery School and Jewellery School Online and runs her own jewellery business Campbell Hall Designs.

 

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