A peek inside the Chicago studio of artist Jessie Smith-Larson

Today we're taking a peek at the studio of Chicago-based artist, Jessie Smith-Larson, who will be exhibiting in the UK in April 2012. In Jessie's own words: "A tale of two studios. I love my Fulton studio at Chicago Sculpture Works. It's where all my heavy-duty mess making takes place. This is a hard core studio with a little bit of rock and roll; I have never left the building with a clean face and hands.

"I use this studio to make most of my art that requires assembly, or involves welding or heat in its creation. Because working with molten wax is incredibly toxic, I do most of that type of my art in this space. It exudes an energy that is incomparable to anything I have ever experienced. The artists who reside here are generous, collaborative and very helpful when a hand is needed. What's there not to love?

"On the other hand, I also love my Ravenswood studio, with its wall of windows, exposed brick and inspiring view of the Chicago skyline. It's hard to leave. What I love the most is the serenity this space exudes.

"I usually have four projects going at once and it's a pleasure to leave everything scattered about: organized chaos. I collect old cigar boxes and wooden crates for storage. My two desks are high wooden tables made of discarded doors and saw horses. I have rounds of cork trivets hanging on the walls, which I use as bulletin boards– an idea I borrowed from Design Sponge a few years ago. Of course, I was too lazy to paint mine pretty shades of colours.

"I have a fondness for old pitchers and pottery, where I store my paint brushes. Oversized Altoids tins are homes for pastels and charcoal pencils. A friend handed down an old Pepsi crate which I use to store and display my encaustic wax bars. It is a great space for thinking, painting and just plain old quiet.

"Two studios. Two loves. What's a girl to do?"