Whenever you are working at your clay table, I HIGHLY recommend that you photograph each step. You never know when a design is going to be a “hit” and a magazine or company will want your project. Not your thing? Well, how about as a record or a “recipe” for the project? I do this especially when I do a mokume gane project – I take a closeup photo of the stacked layers so that I can recreate it if I wish later. The same for a cane – I like to photograph the end of it just before I reduce it so I can see what layers are #3 and what layers are #1, etc.
The other item that I always take a photograph now is the findings or multimedia items I use. It’s amazing how handy it is to have a “Findings” file on my computer. Not just for reference for magazine articles, but sometimes I recall using a little bit or bobble on a project and I have no idea of who made it. I can got into my findings file and find the photo of the package. NOW, I know what I’m looking for. Strings of beads? Who can remember if the beads they used 6 months ago were Blue Moon or Fire Mountain? If you photographed the tab on the string, it really helps. Same goes for craft paint bottles. The labels on my bottles are usually trashed by the time I get to the end of the bottle and I can’t read the color. If I go to my subfolder for paints, I can find it and buy the correct color (I need to do this for my nailpolish I think too – I just spent all weekend looking for a particular shade of blue that I had used up. I remembered the brand name, but they have 2 blues very close to each other and I don’t know which one I used. Yeah, I have both now..)
I name my photos by what they are, for instance, this one is bead-green-interlocking. An gold chain would be titled chain-gold-bright or something to make it different from the other gold chains. But you see my point – all the chains begin with chain, all the beads begin with bead.
I really wish I had started doing this years ago. It’s one of those things that became obvious once I started and I almost smack myself every time I add to the file for not thinking of it sooner!