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desk organizationals

January 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Thanks to Diego’s mom Susan (a public high school art teacher here in RI), thanks to Scott who drove me in his van and helped carry it, and thanks to Tatyana who helped me transport the wood for its new frame, I now have a new desk!

[new desk is at center, a corner of the older desk (4’x4′ for large drawings) is on the right, still covered with stuff]

here’s a past view for comparison; I always forget to take ‘before’ photos.

flat file
[to work on this project, I had balanced a board temporarily between a stack of books on my flat file (behind the chair, with green fabric on it) and other books on the little typewriter table (center). the flat file, which is a bulky 4’x2’x2′, is now upstairs in the studio where I’ll actually be able to open its drawers freely…]

Along with the desk base (which will be used as a work table base somewhere else) and the drafting top, Susan also gave me a bunch of parallel-rule drafting rulers that the high school was getting rid of: they don’t teach hand drafting anymore, a) because it’s obsolete, and b) because they don’t really do vocational programs any more. I gave one of the rulers to awesome local printmaker Meg Turner, an artist who works, like me, in architectural modes. She’s been using a ruler and a triangle on her sketchbook pages to compose her axonometric drawings, and has been in serious need of a parallel rule. (If anyone else local wants one, get in touch!) We talked about the questions surrounding why drafting by hand is obsolete, and why high schools no longer offer vocational classes… unfortunate developments, in our way of looking at the world…

But okay, I’m not going to go into that here, it would get lengthy… and this is about a new desk! The frame for it is attached to the loft structure, to the bookshelf behind it, and slightly cantilevered out over one leg on its right side.

slightly sketchy frame for desk
[frame skeleton]

drafting top in place!
[desk in place, with telling view of mid-cleanup de-organization]

There are various rationales behind having a second desk, the chief one being: if the computer and all the other random scraps of paper, business stuff, mail, writing notebook, (whatever), are not in the middle of the drawing table, then I can leave my main drawing there free and clear, look at it all the time, and the default action upon entering my room becomes: sitting down and drawing.


Obviously there’s still a ways to go before I get to that stage, since the stuff from the shelf and other places has now been totally piled on the desk and the floor… and I actually want to dismantle the main drawing desk and modify its support slightly (to better fit my laundry bin) while I’m in construction mode… but the new smaller desk makes the whole thing feel real & possible. Re-organization begins…

pile of zines…
[side benefit of this clean-up: gaining access to things that were obscured by being badly organized or inaccessible… among them, zines; here awaiting a new shelf where they might actually get looked at!]


  1. Is my letter lost in there?!

    Comment by deb — January 12, 2009 @ 10:58 pm
  2. oh no! well, it’s in there, but not lost — I know exactly where it is: very specifically in a blue folder that says “letters in progress”! and actually, as of tonight, the desk is clear, and that folder is front and center…

    Comment by jean — January 13, 2009 @ 2:01 am
  3. I remember drafting class from high school much more fondly and in greater detail than many other classes I took. And look at me now!

    Comment by Jonathan — January 13, 2009 @ 11:51 am
  4. cool!! Glad to hear your organising is progressing, it is super sub zero tonight and my studio doesn’t have heat so no work in there tonight!!

    Comment by deb — January 14, 2009 @ 9:11 pm
  5. […] The two-desk system in effective action. I cleaned off the huge pile that had accumulated on the left-hand ‘business’ desk three days before Tax Day. Perfect timing… YES!!! […]

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