Table of Contents » Chapter 5 : Studio » Chapter 5 : Setting Up A Studio

Chapter 5 : Setting Up A Studio

After school one of the most difficult task is setting up a studio with facilities to make your work. There are all kinds of decisions to make – what kind of studio? How much space do I need? What can I afford? How long will I be here? What about leases and zoning? What about studio health and safety? These are very personal decisions and a little information can go a long way.

Emily Schroeder Willis has excellent suggestions:
“My biggest piece of advice was stay with a group! Get a group of artist friends together and stick together to share the costs.

Suggested Book Read on Studio Set-up:
Scotchie,Virginia. Setting Up Your Ceramic Studio : Ideas & Plans from Working Artists (A Lark Ceramics Book). New York: Lark, 2003.

Tool lending library

Tool-lending libraries allow patrons to borrow tools, equipment and “how-to” instructional materials, functioning either as a rental shop, with a charge for borrowing the tools, or more commonly free of charge as a form of community sharing.


There is often old ceramic studio equipment for sale on Craig’s list, posted at colleges, art centers and ceramic retailers. Sometimes this stuff is a great deal, sometimes not. Do some research about the equipment before the purchase so your not buying a money pit. This is especially true for used kilns; replacing coils, switches and relays on kilns can really add up. Very often used equipment has been in someone’s grandmother’s basement for a long time, and the seller may not have any idea what they have. If you purchase or accept old materials – test them before using them. Old materials often are a bit different than new materials even if they have the same name and same looking bag.


Zoning is the process of planning for land use by a locality to allocate certain kinds of structures in certain areas. Zoning also includes restrictions in different zoning areas, such as height of buildings, use of green space, density (number of structures in a certain area), use of lots, and types of businesses. When setting up a studio, keep in mind the different types of zoning you may encounter. Have a list of your needs ready, ie: ventilation and exhaust, selling work, parking, can you live on the property and have a business on the property.Read More...

Books for Crafting a Business 

Studio Safety

A.C.T.S. (Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety) is a not-for-profit corporation that provides health, safety, industrial hygiene, technical services, and safety publications to the arts, crafts, museums, and theater communities. A part of the fees from our consulting services goes to support our free and low-cost services for artists. We gratefully accept donations, but do not solicit them from the artists who call here for help and advice. We recognize that artists and performers are among the least affluent groups in society.

Studio Setup Assistance

If you need fabrication support for wood, metal/welding, mold-making and much more, fill out a Art Studio Services Request Form. We will get you in contact with a GYST Fabrication Services Specialist that’s just right for you.