As a general rule, being an artist and making art means displaying it for others to see. That exercise involves framing, packaging in a matboard mount or attaching it to something else that can be hung on a wall.
New frames can be a very costly exercise and I seldom use them these days. Cradled wooden panels have become my preferred way to display work.
Currently, I work on heavy cartridge paper using acrylic paint and mixed media. It means more paintings can be started and allows greater freedom and spontaneity because, “it’s just a piece of paper”. The paintings, if successful, then require framing or mounting on cradled wooden panels like the one below (reverse side pictured).
Here we have a difficulty. You cannot buy large sizes of these cradled panels easily where I live and if you can they seem to be quite flimsy and warp easily. Thus, they are best made to order. I decided to learn the craft myself. Luckily, my husband has helped a lot. Also, a friend has gone down this track before me and has been able to give me some tips! Check out her art at gayeoakes.com
Like any new task this one involved some planning and the gathering of various bits and pieces: mitre saw, plywood, lengths of wood for the cradle on the back, glue, sandpaper, nails, filler, hammer, clamps and a ruler. My new Bessey variable size clamp is shown below. A slight rearrangement of the studio was necessary to allow room to move with lengths of timber. A heavy strong table to work on helps too.
I’ve made several panels now and it seems to be going ok. Smaller sized panels are easier because there’s no need for bracing the cradle to prevent warping. However, larger sizes require cross bracing as shown above.
Frustrations, so far, have been in the form of balancing perfectionism and budding woodwork skills. They tell me it’s going pretty well, all things considered, which is good.
Taking on new tasks initially involves learning. After that comes a settling in period where you are improving, refining skills and work methods. The hope is to make everything streamlined and straight forward. Plus, hopefully, speed the process up a bit. Well, one aims for that at least!
This is the clamp in action (above) and a small finished panel (below) which is ready to have a painting attached.
I’m enjoying the process so far. Let’s hope that continues because “someone” needs to make them!
Yes, I’m still making art as well!
Here’s a collage that started as a first layer for “something”. Sometimes, these first steps stump me. They can look like they’re almost done when I’ve just began. It’s most perturbing for someone that likes to “get their teeth into things”! We’ll have to wait and see what eventuates here.
Just to balance things out a bit, here’s one where a third “let’s start again” layer isn’t doing it for me!
These new pieces were listed on Bluethumb recently.
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