Sunday, August 10, 2008

hanging stuff

I like having pristine white walls in my studio. People tell me I should hang my work so others can see what I do, but I prefer the vast white wall space around me, which gives me a sense of calm even when my working surfaces are chaotic. When I do workshops it's also great to have space for my students' work. I hang a string across the wall and clip on their work with brightly coloured clothespegs so we can take a look from a different perspective. But I am participating in a studio tour in September and will have to display my work. I gave it some thought and then a few weeks ago I splurged big time and bought a track hanging system for my studio. I found this great company in Montreal, AS Hanging Systems, and they were very efficient and helpful and kind when I visited and spent time trying to decide which system to choose. I chose the click rail system. It's not too obtrusive and will give me a lot of flexibility. I can hang my work, change it around, hang student work temporarily, or keep my pristine walls, all without hammering nails in the wall. It's very cool! And yesterday it was installed. It was quite easy. Especially since I hired someone to come and do it for me :)...when plugs are involved, I lose all my confidence and it probably would have taken me three times as long to do it. There are small plastic clips that you attach to the wall with a screw and then you just click the track onto the clips. Then you pop in the cord and attach hooks by sliding them onto the cord and tightening. I chose the transparent nylon cord for subtlety and because my work is small and light but you can get stainless steel cords which hold more weight. I am thrilled to have them installed and now I have to get busy creating work to hang on the system. In the meantime, I've attached binder clips to my big sheets of paper and hung it on the hooks. It's a great paper hanging solution too. Here are some views of the hooks and cords and please scroll down to see what else I did to make my studio more functional, when I had a handy person available to help me with it.

Aren't they rather elegant looking just on their own?

Here is one of my paper hanging solutions.

And here is another, for my more drapable paper. Blatantly stolen from s.kaye. It's a simple system of eye hooks and wooden dowels. I like it because you can actually see what you have. Before, all my paper was kept in a giant box that I had to dig through and I really didn't know what I had and things got munched up. I'm not completely sold though. The paper is quite fiddly to drape, especially when you are layering many sheets on one dowel. And although you can easily see what you have, getting one out without messing up the others, may be a challenge. I'm giving it a try though and it's definitely an improvement on my old system, which wasn't really a system at all.

Hooks for the bathroom and furnace room doors, inside and out. Extra coat space. And umbrella space!

I've had these two floating shelves from IKEA for about nineteen months and have been too intimidated to put them up on my own. Now they are up! You can barely distinguish them from the wall with all the white on white. I put my plaster bandage masks on them for Jo! I like organizing stuff as much as I like making stuff so don't be surprised if sometime in the future I share my favourite shelving and storage solutions. Hint: IKEA.


Jo Horswill said...

Kate, how wonderful! Very exciting about your 'open studio' day too. This tracking system looks very professional...and yes, not obtrusive at all.
Kate, I want your paper collection!
Oh those masks, just love this image!...and on white IKEA shelves!!!I have exactly the same shelves for my art work!!! I love being able sit my artwork on the shelf, and watch it over a period of time. Especially while it's still a work in progress!!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

What a great system Kate.. I am so glad you shared it... large white walls are my favourite...

this system is so practical, interchangeable and flexible.. its perfect.. can't wait to see you what to attach and how you do it!!!!

notmassproduced said...

wow - exciting stuff. I wish i was this organised :o)

Chantal said...

Well, Kate, you sure take some lovely pictures! Very lovely stuff indeed and the more of your cast paper stuff I see, the more of a fan I become :)I certainly will be back and see what you're up to! I find your paper work very evocative and very well executed.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I wish there were an ikea near me! Crafty and organized, those are two great combos!

kate said...

jo...I love my paper collection too! I've had some of those sheets for over 10 years! Now that I can see them, perhaps I'll be inspired to use them. Seems like everyone has those particular IKEA shelves! is a great system. I can't wait to see how things look on the wall. Now I have to get busy and make stuff!

notmassproduced...actually, your cabinet post ( has inspired me to share my organizing solutions. Thanks to you! Watch for it in the future!

chantal...thanks for your kind words and thanks for visiting! I'll be checking out your blog soon!

ww...pity but there's always the website!