First things first, I want to do one of those “LOOK MA, I LEARNED” moments. Anyone from my college years probably remembers trying to hang a poorly planned multi component piece with me. You know what I’m talking about. Where I made 8 large fish or 6 gears or 18 numbers and had no idea where they went on the wall, but would once I saw it. The only catch, you’d be the one holding it up while I said “a little to the left, to the right, left, YES THERE. . . . . you know now it’s up it looks too low.”
One of the grad ceramicists mentioned this trick to me and I’m excited it worked really well.
YES. I CAN LEARN.
So if anyone remembers a little past this time last year i got really into water colouring jellyfish. It had been a good year and a half since my last attempt at an installation and I was starting to get ambitious again. Well, I managed to nip back my ambition to my own personal feasibility and for good reason. I’m almost done with it finally. I AM FOREVER HIATUS WOMAN.
Now, I have had this hiatus sitting in my studio for. . . well, forever.
I’d gotten everything matted, wired, and in a frame. Past that though? Hahaha. no.
I’d laid them all out on the floor and contemplated compositions.
Then sat back and admired my idea. Carefully stacking them back in their pile I drew up a few plans for the smallest frames, and got instantly distracted.
Well, today I cleaned my space and noticed there was a perfectly empty floor just ripe for preparing to empty out this baby-mongo pile of frames. (I know it doesn’t look like much but it was a wreck before. I’m seriously happy with how nicely it tidied.)
ALRIGHT HERE’S WHERE I ACTUALLY LEARNED SOMETHING.
Now I wanted to be able to replicate how I hang this without having to spend forever guessing and trying different things. I HATE repeating the same thing over again. That’s why I’ve been so reticent to attempt anything large again. But with better planning I think I can work on the scale I want.
To start with I needed a large piece of paper to draw out where I planned everything to be. I had planned on snagging a roll of brown paper from work before I left, but I never did. tape and printer paper it was then!
A lot of taping later and I had a rough shape I figured was probably big enough.
I then laid out all the frames on top of the paper the way I wanted them on the wall.
(even when I’m excited about my pre-thinking I don’t pre-think. Notice my last minute add-ons because my paper was not in fact large enough. I’m a great fudger, and if I can get away with it, I will.)
I then traced out each frame and measured where the nail holes needed to go on the paper.
and made it a little easier for my 24 year old-old lady eyes to see
at this point I was convinced it wouldn’t work. The plan was flawless, but I’m a very flawed measurer. “but weren’t you a custom framer?” you might ask. Yes, I was. and I stared at the measuring tape three times for long period each time to double check I was dyslexia-ing it up. I have no such patience for my own work. I’ll blaze through, notice a mistake, go back and fix it, realize it’s a little off, go back and fix it again. I save my attention span for your work. (yet oddly enough I have the strength and patience to wait for cookies to get out of the oven without eating all the dough)
Okay, so the plan is done. It’s time to test it out.
I tape it up to the wall and cross my fingers, nailing through the paper where I indicated a nail needed to go.
and because I hated having to constantly look back at my reference image I wrote onto the plan which jelly was which. If I was thinking more long term I’d have drawn a small image of each on it’s square, but I’ll save that level of detail for a plan I’d be submitting to with a show. ‘med fatty’ and ‘large blob’ works for me for now.
I was beyond elated it was all almost exactly where I planned it. Only one little punk acting up. I popped him off the wall and moved his nail.
And of course I fudged it. It needed to go up approximately one thumb joint to be a similar distance from blobby jelly that the others.
Close enough for me. I’m not looking for perfection. I’d be drawing rubik cubes if I was concerned with perfection, not fantasy jellyfish.
I took all the jellyfish off the wall and slowly pulled out each nail, putting it back in it’s hole underneath. For a more professional final plan I’ll probably hole punch holes bigger than the nail/screw heads so it can just be lifted off. Anything larger than this I think will also be planned out in numbered panels.
BUT THERE THEY ARE. FINALLY ON THE WALL. and still not finished. A couple frames need a little touch up work, and I still haven’t decided on any small jellyfish designs I like. Once that’s all done I’ll probably try my hand submitting it to a workhouse show and (depending how my patience fares) filling up larger spaces.
Imagine a whole room filled with jellyfish, like the staircase at Hogwarts. Yesssss. Either way FORWARD PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE.