Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Custom Display Stands - Part 1

Had our timeline gone differently, this would have been a post from mid-2020, but alas, things are the way they are, and I am finally getting around to some things (finally) in the second half of 2021. One of these things is new custom display stands for my new fine art prints from The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. Without beating a dead horse, for the few years leading up to 2020, I was slowly phasing out client work, and related items from my convention set up. Taking their place was works from the Grand Bazaar. At Gen Con 2019 and Pensacon 2020, I blew out nearly all of my remaining client-related stock, and at IX 2019, I debuted a prototype setup of my convention of the future, the convention of the Grand Bazaar. After an extended pause from in-person events, I am finally on the cusp of attending my first convention, IX 2021, in October. This means I am getting everything squared away and prepped for the full debut of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia at an event. 

One of the more involved builds is the custom display stands for my new fine art prints. While I could have built a single shelf and used plastic or metal off the rack display stands or standees, I wanted something more modular, sturdy, and designed to be precisely what I needed. This has required me to work outside of my comfort zone to accomplish all of this and has taken much more time than planned. This last piece being why I have started working on them months before they are needed. I have been sketching designs for them off and on for a while now as I think about and process what I need from them and how best to accomplish this. Having worked out the design, it was now time to create a proof of concept mockup to make sure I was not crazy and that there were no aspects of my design that could use improving.

This half-width mockup helped me determine how tall and how deep the stands needed to be to best display to levels of prints in an attractive and easily accessible fashion.

In creating the mockup, I released that heights and widths all needed to be adjusted. Even after this successful build, I will be changing it even further in the final form. One of the more interesting things I realized with this mockup was that I needed a spacer for the top shelf so that the upper prints sat back a little and were not directly behind the top of the lower print. You need a little room for someone's hand to fit so that they can grab the print.

With the mockup more or less signed off on, it is now time to move forward to the final build, which will be in wood. I created one last design sketch that breaks down the display stand into its individual parts and the timber sizes and amounts I would need. Listed hardware, paint, and additional related tools and parts were also made. It was now time for the dreaded trip to the home supply store.
Figuring out the wood that I needed to get for this was one of the more stressful things I have done lately. Standard sizes for wood are a little off from what I need for my display stands. To make things easier on myself I am altering my disign in a couple of places to accomidate the standard wood widths. This means that some parts will be a inch narrower or an inch wider. In the scheme of things it should not afffect the look and usablity of this stands. It simply means I am not doing a ton of extra cutting on wood and this will hopefully mean things will be more straightforward and simpler, and a lot fewer opportunites for me to mess things up.

This is where it all stands as of this minute. I will be moving forward on the actual building of the display stands over the weekend. I am actually building more stands than I currently need because I know in the future I will need more. Since they are modular, I will also be able to get a lot more use and more flexibility with them at conventions with different setup conditions. More on all of this soon, but first, I have a bit of work to do.

That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog. See you back here on Friday! Until then...

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