All serious doll artists need a work area dedicated to their reborning hobby. This will make the hobby ten times easier since all of your supplies and products will be neatly organized and in arm's reach. Of course, some newcomers to the hobby may simply brush off the need for a dedicated work station by using the kitchen table or even the floor instead, but this isn't recommended. Having your very own area specifically for reborning will make the tasks both easier and more enjoyable.
It's important to note that everyone has different requirements when it comes to reborning dolls; therefore, workstations will vary in terms of features and size. New reborners simply won't need as much space as some of the more experienced ones need. If you are just getting started, you may be able to get away with a small table setup in the corner of a bedroom or bonus room. On the other hand, professional artists will likely need a full-sized cubicle area complete with a full shelving area for all of the necessary supplies (trust me, there's a lot).
Choosing a Location
The first thing you'll need to do is choose a location for your reborning workstation. As previously stated, everyone has different requirements based on their experience and overall skill level. To ensure your workstation is suitable for your specific needs, you'll need to identify how much time you spend reborning before choosing a location. If you only make a doll or two a month, then a small workstation is perfectly fine. But larger ones are necessary for artists who make a doll or more a week.
Unfortunately, most doll artists don't have a ton of extra room in their home to dedicate for a reborning workstation. If you are like most families, chances are the available bedrooms and space in your home is used for storage. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you should try to clear out at least a partial area in a bedroom to use for a reborning workstation. You don't need a full bedroom, but you should have a desk-sized area cleared away where you can freely work and move around with ease. An area in a spare bedroom or even the living room will work just fine.
Reborn Workstation - The Basics
The single most important item necessary for a reborning workstation is a desk. The bottom line is that you can't have a functional and effective workstation without a desk. It will offer a comfortable area where you can sit down and work on your reborn dolls at eye-level.
So, what's the best type of desk to use for your reborning workstation? There are literally hundreds of different desks out there, varying in size, material and features. I recommend starting out with a basic, wooden desk that's designed to fit the area where you intend on using it. You don't want to purchase a desk that's too large or too small for the area in the house where it's going to be used. Check out places like Wal-Mart, Target or Ikea for basic desks that aren't going to cost an arm and a leg.
You can't have a desk setup without a chair. Since it usually takes between 20-40 hours to produce a single reborn doll, you'll want a chair that's comfortable and ergonomically designed to contour to your back. While some people may have their own personal preferences when it comes to a chair, I personally enjoy leather office chairs with lumbar support. I can literally sit in mine for 4+ hours without developing any back pain or discomfort.
In addition to a table and chair, you'll also need a shelving system or bookcase to store your reborning supplies on. Since most of your reborning work will be done sitting down in front of a desk, it's best to choose a shelf that's only about waist-high. This will allow you to access supplies and equipment from your seat without standing up. Just be sure to set it up in close proximity to your desk so you can easily reach it.
Completing Your Reborning Workstation
Don't pack up your stuff and call it a day just yet, because there's still some work left to do. By now, you should have a desk, chair and some type of storage system setup for your reborning workstation. If you haven't set this up yet, go ahead and do so. Next, start adding all of your reborn supplies and equipment to the surrounding shelf and desk. A standard shelf should offer more than enough storage for your belongings. In the event that you still require more, however, you can use some clear plastic containers to store additional reborning supplies in.
Here are some of the most commonly used items in a reborning workstation:
- Paintbrushes in various sizes.
- Cosmetic foam wedges.
- Cosmetic makeup sponges.
- Plastic paint palettes.
- Air-dry or heat-set paints.
- Paper towels and wet naps.
- X-Acto knife.
- Cable ties.
- Stuffing material of your choice.
- Heat gun (optional).
- Extra vinyl dolls and doll parts.
The items listed above are things that most artists will constantly find themselves using when reborning dolls. When you are setting up your workstation, try to keep all of these supplies within arm's reach to make things easier. Some of the items, such as additional vinyl dolls and doll parts, can be stored in other places farther away from the table. Your ultimate goal with a workstation is to create a comfortable and functional area where you can reborn dolls without scrambling to find the necessary supplies. After reading this, hopefully you will have a better understanding on how to create the perfect reborning workstation.