Ever since Diane and I decided to take our really long 20th. anniversary trip to Scottsdale we’ve been busily preparing for it. In case you missed it, we will move to Scottsdale shortly after Christmas and stay through the end of June. The house will be watched by neighbors and be home for a number of relatives who’ve always wanted to spend time in Las Vegas (good luck at the casinos!). Diane was awarded a scholarship at the Scottsdale Artist School and is looking forward to taking full advantage of all the art education it has to offer by signing up for several other workshops and activities. I’ll be focusing on frames and am readying myself for that as well. Yesterday was spent working on two projects, one was fairly simple stand with an adjustable height platform for Diane’s iPad. She now uses the iPad rather than her photographs when she’s in the studio. She tells me it allows her to zoom in up close on features that are otherwise hard to discern. The other is the panel carrier I’ll talk about in this blog.
Many years ago I made something similar that she used for a workshop at the artist school. One of the others in the class really liked it so at the end of the class Diane sold it to her! Her reasoning was sound, I could always make another. It had a few short-comings which I solved in this version, pictured on the left. If you do a Google search for these, many come up. Some are okay, others are flimsy, limit the space, don’t hold securely, or a host of other drawbacks including the cost. In any case, this one is made of 1/2″ Baltic Birch plywood and 5/4 Poplar for the pieces that hold the panel or canvas in place. Each side easily holds one canvas and has a slotted area for a standard 1/4″ panel. If you needed to carry a total of 4 panels you could put two on each side as long as they were the same size. This will accomodate panels and canvases as small as 8″ x 10″ and as large as 16″ x 20″. You’ll notice that the bottom carrier pieces are staggered. This is to make sure there is ample strength. The stagger gave me access needed to glue and screw them to the plywood. On the raised carrier I’ve added a foot so the unit sits level. There are carriers that simply screw the bottom carrier to the end of the plywood but that is way too weak of a joint — the artist wouldn’t be too thrilled if that gave way and dropped their work after spending a day painting their masterpiece! By the way, the carrier with that design lists for almost $150.00.
At the right is how it would look if you were carrying one 16″ x 20″ canvas on one side and a 8″ x 10″ panel on the other.
To keep this project simple and knowing that before long it will be covered with the brilliant hues of an artists’ palette it is simply waxed with BriWax which will give it a degree of protection but still allow the owner to add their own patina to it. The handle is formed into the top rather than adding a separate. Weight is always a concern and with the integral handle there is no chance of a screw coming loose and the artists’ work ruined.
Here are detail photos of how the carriers were designed to accommodate either a canvas or a panel. After placing the painting in the bottom carrier it is held securely in place by sliding the top carrier to the top of the painting and securing it with the thumbscrew.
Diane will be my “traveling sales rep” when she uses her at the school. This project is fairly simple and making a run of more then one would be something I’d happily take on to help finance our long anniversary trip.