Wednesday, May 7, 2008

All boxed up

Once I've had an idea, I kind of get stuck in it. If it's not working on a practical level, I keep trying harder and harder to make it fit. Then, every once in a while, the clouds part, a shaft of light surrounds me, and angels sing. At least, that's how it feels to me when I break out of a fruitless-idea-frustration loop. This morning I'm singing along, karaoke-style, with the Hallelujah Chorus.

Some weeks ago--before the Disney trip--Polly asked me if I'd make a piece of art for her office wall. It's a pretty big space. I'd had a piece in mind for a while--vague, floating around at the back of my brain--and it suddenly snapped into focus. A chair collage. I'd been collecting miniature chairs for this purpose. Chairs follow Polly home and set up housekeeping in her basement. Perfect!

My first idea was to do 9 mini collages, each featuring a different chair and a different aspect of Polly's personality. Then I'd mount these little shadowboxes in a grid onto the glass of a large frame. But roadblocks kept cropping up. The 5x5 shadowboxes I had on hand weren't deep enough to accommodate the chairs. A big frame was going to be heavy--moreso with all the little frames epoxied to it. If I could figure out a way to ship it safely to Minnesota, the tab was likely to be astronomical. Was I going to have to drive this sucker to Minneapolis? Grrrr.

After several weeks of scouring the net for shadowboxes that would work, I stumbled across a note somewhere that said to be sure to use acrylic rather than PVC or other plastics for art projects because the other stuff can damage the work and acrylic has UV-screening properties. So I did a search for acrylic shadowboxes, which led to a different know the drill.

On the web site of The Container Store, I found the ideal alternative. Acrylic boxes with snug-fitting lids. Once I cover the back surface, they'll become mountable shadowboxes, perfectly clear on all sides. Eureka! They look like the letter box in this photo, except they're somewhat smaller--8.5"x5"x2.75". Little Rock has a new Container Store, so I ran by on my way home from work and, sure enough, the boxes I wanted were in stock. I grabbed 9 and went home with the sound of harps in my ears.

Still, what was I to do about the other roadblocks? The acrylic boxes are even heavier than wooden shadowboxes with glass. And they're bigger, so I'll have to mount them on an even larger frame--heavier frame, heavier glass. Can I ship the finished product without the glass breaking or the contents of the collages shaking loose? Will it cost $600?

I woke up this morning to the sound of the celestial backup group. DUH. Don't mount them on a big frame. Let Polly mount them directly to the wall in a grid. Nine separate but coordinated pieces. Totally shippable. And because the fronts lift off, if anything jars loose in shipping, she can just squirt it with some E6000 and stick it back in place. They won't even need nails. I can put double-stick velcro on the backs like my nursery letters.

I can't wait to get started now. This is SO going to work.


Julie Anne of Diamondmeenuh Creations said...

Thank you!!! I've been looking and looking for those clear plexiglass/plastic picture frames and couldn't find a single one! Never thought of a container store! Why? Need a bird proof picture frame. Only AsaMina can chew through plexiglass and the frame isn't for her, but for Cleo--not a chewer.

I do hope you'll be taking pictures of your finished creation and posting it for me to see :-)

oh, winner and runners up announced on my blog!

casserole said...

CLEARLY this is the right direction for you... ar, ar, ar!!!

idyll hands said...

Harumph. It just kills me that we have to shop online if we want Container Store items in this state.

Stacy said...

What a terrific idea! I was thinking of using some of those frames to create a rotating display of my Etsy purchases. Clever girl!

Cheryl said...

This sounds fabulous! Can't wait to see pictures! I also can't wait to meet you, because next week I'm moving to -- wait for it --- Maumelle, AR. I shall have to track you down. No, I'm not a stalker or anything like that, really!