Sunday, July 11, 2010

Making pedestals for art shows

If you are an artist and have been doing art shows, I am sure the thought of displays is always in your head.
I have been working on my booth displays and always changing something. Sometimes with the introduction of new items, things need to be rearranged and I need to change the way I set up my shelves.
Pedestals is something I always struggled with for my sculptures and for my few featured items. There are several designs out there. There are expensive options which do look really nice. Some can be bulky, some can be flimsy, some don't last long at all and some take forever to assemble.
One method that worked well for indoor shows was painted cardboard. It looked clean and sturdy but it really wasn't very stable. I took them to one outdoor show where it rained like crazy and that was the end of them. You can see them in the picture below.
I then came across potter Kathleen LeSueur and she does amazing work. She mentioned about her pedestals made from 1/8" luan and outdoor carpeting which she had been using since 1994. So using her design and adding a few more additions, I made my pedestals and love the way they came out. They were not very expensive to make either. Hope the following steps help. Thanks Kathy for pointing me to the right direction.
First cut four pieces from 1/8" luan for the four sides of the pedestals (eg. four pieces of 8"x 25"). I got this cut at the big box store itself, as I don't have a table saw and their cuts were very accuarte. I think I paid $2.00 for cutting up sides for all the 3 pedestals I made. Worth it!
Then you cut the outdoor carpeting to dimentions slightly larger than what you would need for the pedestal (For the 8"x25" sides, cut the carpeting to 36"x 28")
Glue the luan with carpet glue to the back side of the carpeting leaving a 1/4" gap between each side. Once the glue is set, cut off the remaining from the top and bottom, but leave 3-4" exra on the side.

Between the middle two panels I added a strap of carpeting with staples to serve as a handle for carrying them.

To set it up, just set it upright and use velcro strips which grip on very well to the carpet. I then added two 2" square styrofoam pieces to help square the top and bottom.

Another piece of laun covered in outdoor carpeting and you are done. I have used these for 3 shows so far and they are really holding up very well. I am sure they will last a long time. You can see them in action at my next show. Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival
If you have any more ideas, feel free to comment.

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