Thursday, October 17, 2013

Display Wall

Earlier in the week, I showed you some pictures from my open studio set up.  In my living room, I had put up this display unit to show pieces in my Greenbelt series.

I made this a couple of years ago when a friend of mine asked me to participate in a market event she was organizing.  I do not wish to do art fairs/markets where you have a booth.  But since this event was indoors and my friend was organizing it, I decided to try it once.

We were assigned a 6' foot space and could rent a table.  I knew I needed some kind of display wall on which to hang my artworks.  But I didn't want to invest in one.  So, I decided to make my own.

I am no designer, nor furniture maker.  But I am an artist and, therefore, a creative problem solver.  I had some free pieces of wood that were leftover from a museum project that I had taken thinking maybe someday I would make a shelf with them.  Instead, I used some for this project.

I purchased some felt fabric, shelf brackets, two curtain rods and some hardware pieces.  I made up the design myself.  And while I was putting it up again this year (I also used it last year in my open studio), I thought that I really need to redesign it because it is not that easy to hang things on the felt.

I designed it this way for several reasons.  First, I knew that I would have to be able to put it together and take it apart by myself.  I would also have to get the pieces in my car and carry them myself.  I also didn't want to have to store a very large unit.

In this picture, you can see that the top bar slides into a groove on the side bar and is held together with a dowel rod.  The pieces of wood I had were about 1" x 1" and I put three pieces together.  A dowel piece also holds the curtain rod in place and can be removed.

The bottom bar also slides into a groove on the side and is held with a dowel.  I used the shelf brackets on the base of each side bar.  They work and it is pretty stable when all put together but there is room for improvement.

I sewed a pocket on the top and bottom of the felt for the curtain rods to slide through.  When taking it down, I can remove the rods and just fold up the fabric.  The whole thing takes up little storage when disassembled.

The problem is that it is very hard to hang the artwork because the felt is not stiff.  I pin the pieces on but don't want the pins to show.  I can't hold the piece and go around to the back and pin from there.  So I pin from the front and try to hide the pins.  If I want to adjust to make it level, it is hard to do.

I'm thinking maybe I could make some panels with foam core or something else to create a stiff surface.  I would have to retrofit the top and bottom bars with something to hold them.  But then I would have to store those larger pieces.  I will think about it some more.  It is not a high priority on my list.  Since I will probably continue having open studios and setting it up, though, it would be nice to have something a little different.  Any suggestions are welcome.

Terry Grant was creative in recently creating her own display wall.  You can read about it here.  Wish I would have thought of that.

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