One Review at a Time: Artist Taboret
An important piece of my studio renovations was an art cart, or to be fancy an artist taboret. I used to use a little table, that was my grandmother’s old TV stand, but it was small and didn’t do everything I needed. It got me through about 7 years of painting, so if you’re on a budget remember that the most important thing is to paint!
I’m at a point in my career where I can invest a little money in making my studio exactly what I want, and I wanted the following from my Artist Taboret:
• 20” wide – the space between my art table and computer desk.
• At least 20” long to accommodate a surface for mixing paint and holding brushes. I was more flexible on the length due to having more space.
• Open shelves for storage. I wanted to see my art supplies. When supplies are hidden they are harder to find and remember.
• Wheels. I wanted to be able to move the cart around the studio so I had the option to work in different spaces.
• Paper Towel roll.
• Wax paper roll.
With all these things in mind I started looking and quickly discovered that Artist Taboret was not just a fancy word it was a fancy price! There are a range of Taborets from $250 to thousands of dollars. Some of them look cheaply made, but others look high end and amazing. I didn’t want low quality, I needed a sturdy surface, but the nice ones were out of my price range.
Then I discovered that “kitchen islands” are very much like taborets. They have a large flat top surface, designed for cutting and preparing meals, so they can handle some weight and pressure. They have storage space and wheels!
I looked at a lot of different options and settled on the Single Drawer Kitchen Cabinet Storage Cart from Winsome Wood. At $125.39 and Amazon Prime shipping it could not be beat! The table top is 18" x 25.5". It's got storage and wheels! Almost everything I wanted in one easy package, and with a few modifications it would be a great fit!
It arrived in a couple of days and I put it together. I then made a few modifications:
I chose not to put the doors on. I got custom flat knobs for the drawer because the handle that came with it stuck out too far for my space needs (25¢ each from Lowe's). I added a paper towel roll ($6.99 from Walmart), and a hook to hang my rulers from (a single hook from a picture hanging kit). I also placed a piece of hardboard on the bottom shelf to help with durability and spills from the various liquids I keep in the cart.
The most complex alteration I made was adding a bar to hold an 18" wax paper roll. Disposable artist pallets are made from the same stuff as wax freezer paper. You can get 50 square feet for around $6, that's way cheaper and will last much longer than most tablets.
I took the wood piece intended to be the place where the doors close and removed the magnetic pieces. I measured the space where I planed to attach the piece and marked it. I then got to use my jig saw (power tools!!!) to cut the piece. I sanded it then drilled it in place.
Then I took a sash curtain rod ($1.50 from Lowe's), and drilled it into the side of the taboret. I chose the sash style rod because it was adjustable size and would fit the unique dimensions of the cart. It was also important that it be removable so that I could replace the wax paper when the roll finally runs out.
I initially attached the wax paper with clips, but I found this annoying. So I installed a magnetic strip to the opposite side of the taboret's surface.
I then use a metal ruler (I have collected lots of these over the years) to hold the paper in place so I can mix paint. When I'm done I just cut away the used up paper and throw it away.
Whenever I need a clean surface for drawing supplies I roll up the paper. When it's time to get messy I can roll out a nice clean piece of wax pallet paper and get to work!
The last bit is drawer organization. I got a drawer organizer in order to keep all my art supplies neat and tidy! I try to keep things I need, but not things crucial while working on a project. It's good storage space, but a pain to dig through a drawer while in the middle of a messy painting project.
I am very happy with my new artist taboret! I've been using it for a couple months now, and it's excellent! If you're looking to upgrade your studio equipment I hope you find this helpful.
Sam Flegal is one of the Co-Hosts of One Fantastic Week a weekly webshow about self employed fantasy artists. His personal project, Fateful Signs, focuses on Norse Mythology. Sam lives in Nashville with his wife and daughter; and he buys too much stuff on Amazon Prime.