I want to share an exciting new invention my husband and I came up with to give me display walls in my studio. I really believe in putting your work on the wall and stepping back from it to see it better. My students have been amazed how much it changes their work to see it on the wall.
My studio is, in fact, the “Formal Living Room” of our home. Its a light filled, airy space which was getting no use whatsoever, but I didn’t want to mess up the walls with a bunch of push pins or nails. And, as you collagists know, storage is ever the aim!
These walls are built from 4′ x 8′ sheets of foam insulation board (from Home Depot) attached to steel shelving units, with wheels (from Costco). The insulation board was originally Lilac purple which I immediately painted to a very white white. This board is very lightweight and is fine for holding paper pieces with push pins or T-pins.
We bought 18″ deep racks, both for stability and for more storage. The wheels are indispensable. So nice to hide all my supplies behind a nice white wall and have quick access when I need it.
The foam board is attached to the rack with two long screws, on left and right of the board, at the top 3 shelves. Large washers were used, front and back, to distribute pressure over the foam. Finally a handy piece of hardware used in framing (name unknown) has been used to firmly clamp to the steel racks.. So, for each wall, we used 6 screws, 6 bolts, 12 washers, and 6 framing clamps.
What is that dark rectangle on the lower right of the middle panel? A cat scratcher. Our newest cat LOVES to shred the foam and this has, so far, averted his effort.
To be able to hang panels on this wall, we made a modification, in the form of a wooden bar, attached through the foam and onto the steel rack. I put screws every few inches, in the wooden bar, so I could hang a variety of panel sizes.
Above is a closeup of the back, side, and front (clockwise) of the wooden bar so you can see the hardware better.
There is a variety of ways to hang on these walls. I am using T-pins on this paper collage because the watercolor paper substrate is bending and the T-pins will hold it more secure and flatten it out. Anything non-flat or heavy is hung from the screws on the wooden bar.
My friend Jane Davies constructed a variation on this design, using a homosote panel, which might be the better idea. This foam works, but it is weak. Your cats will love it though~!
Thanks for reading and happy creating!