Monday, March 1, 2010

The Rack that Ben Built

So I was at the studio on Saturday meeting with a client regarding a commission she wanted me to do. When I was done, I walked by fellow artist, Scott Inguito's studio and noticed that he had a metal file holder that was holding some of his smaller canvas'. We talked for a bit about how it was a great way to hold and store his paintings and that he finds them at thrift stores for super cheap. I started to think that I needed something like this for my studio space since I was running out of places to put my finished work and the panels I had yet to paint on. At the time I was stacking panels up against each other with bubble wrap in between each painting. It worked but if I wanted to show someone one of those paintings, it was a huge pain to dig through the work and then unwrap the bubble wrap. It's also not very safe for my paintings since they can easily slide down, tip over,  and become damaged. I needed something that would work for the small space that I had and be sturdy enough to hold 40"x 30" wood panels without damaging the wax finish of each piece.

I was meeting my soon-to-be-husband and a friend for lunch after I left the studio. (I just can't get used to the word fiance. It just sounds so pretentious. Fiance. Ugh.) I told Ben that I wanted some sort of rack to hold my paintings but that it needed to be small enough to fit in my studio space, which is only about 7 feet wide by 12 feet long. I described what Scott had and told him what I was thinking of and what most galleries had for storage. The built in racks that most galleries have wasn't going to work since I also needed my wall space to display work during Open Studios. I also wanted to be able to easily move it if I ever decided to change studios.

We drew up a couple of drawings and debated on size lengths over bloody mary's and mimosas at Ti Couz. We came up with an adjustable rack that has a base made out of  4x4 beams (with 2x4 cross beams). The base has 1 inch holes drilled in, 2 inches apart, so that 1 inch dowels could be inserted and moved around depending on the thickness of each panel.. Currently the dowels are covered in bubble wrap so that it doesn't scratch my paintings but I eventually plan on covering each one with a thick felt.

The rack came out exactly the way I wanted it and I can now slide out paintings easily to show potential clients each piece and my work is also now stored safely. Ben is going to build me another smaller version of the rack for underneath my work table and another the same size as the one already made to hold any other panels I haven't stored (although many of them will be shipped to shows eventually). It's so nice to have a guy around who can build me things! Yup, I think I'll keep him around for awhile.

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