I'll admit it--I'm a tightwad. More often than not I find myself thinking Hmm, I really need [insert obscure tool, doo-dad, or widget]. I should go to the hardware store and buy one. Nah, probably too expensive. Invariably I then proceed to cobble something together in the meantime to (sort-of) fit the bill. Now that I think of it, maybe it's not that I'm a tightwad; maybe it's that I'm too damned lazy to leave my "studio" and go to the hardware store. Anyway, yesterday I had another one of those I-really-need-this moments.
I often create frames around my works--usually using pieces cut from vintage picture frames that I find tucked away in junk shops. I have a chop-saw to cut my framing material to the necessary 45 degree angles. The problem I always run into, though, is gluing up and holding the pieces together so that they maintain a nice 90 degree corner.
Yesterday I was in the process of cutting frames for a hardboard panel (more on that later), and I knew that my corners had to line up as close to perfect as is possible for me. Needless to say, I had my typical I-really-need-this moment; in this case, my "need" was a corner clamp. After a quick price check on-line, I (once again) reverted to cobbling something together--in this case, a jig that I can clamp framing material into while it dries. Below is what I came up with; it's made from scrap MDF and if I may say so, it worked quite well.
Next is a pic showing how a couple of framing pieces can be clamped in place, holding them into the 90 degree corner while the glue dries.
Now on to project #2 from yesterday--a hardboard panel. For my next art project I'm going to step away from my assemblage work and create a piece of 2-D wall art. At this point I'm thinking a collage using a map with an overlay of an old-school heart image (think: an illustration from, for example, an old Gray's Anatomy text), with some acrylic painting effects thrown in.
Of course, hardboard panels can be purchased at any art supply store, but they're kind of pricey--and remember, I'm a tightwad. So now that I've made my corner clamping jig, I slapped some clear pine stock together to form a 12" x 12" frame. The frame is 3" deep, which if you look on an art supply site for a hardwood panel (the Ampersand Company, for example, sells them) it would be called a "deep cradled hardboard panel." A 3" deep cradled hardboard panel is not typical, by the way; most are made with a 2" max cradle--but what the heck, I tend to go overboard anyway. Last fall I had purchased a 4' X 8' sheet of masonite (AKA: hardboard) to cut a couple of drawing boards out of it for my daughter, who's an art and design student; I had plenty of masonite left over, so I used a chunk of it for the surface of this project. Sidenote: the pine framing pieces are dumpster-diving treasures (whoop-whoop), so other than the masonite--which was, I think, about $13 for a 4 X 8' sheet--this hardboard panel was done on the cheap!
Here are a couple of pics (front and back) showing the finished product. Notice that on the back of the panel I added some corner support pieces; this is probably unnecessary (none of the comparable hardboard products I saw on-line included corner supports) but, again, I do go overboard.
So not much art getting done yesterday--just a couple of D.I.Y. projects. Check back the next few days--I'll try and post pics of the collage-on-the-panel's progress.
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.